The festival will dedicate a retrospective to Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, the two filmmakers and artists from Lebanon who were among the stars of the 2021 Berlinale with Memory Box, a magnificent composition of images, sounds, and words that restores human dignity to the rubble of Lebanon’s civil war.
At the center of the international scene for the past twenty years as two of the most cutting-edge figures in the reflection on the relationship between collective History and individual stories, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige will be the focus of a complete retrospective, curated by Massimo Causo, that, besides the Italian premiere of Memory Box (distributed by Movies Inspired), will present their entire opus, from their debut film Around the pink house (1999) to A Perfect Day (2005), Khiam 2000-2007 (2008),Je veux voir (2008), and The Lebanese Rocket Society(2012), as well as all of their short films, an integral part of their pathway. They have always sought to cross the physical and ideal space of Lebanon, turning their films into an act of resistance of memory against the oblivion to which places, people, and events are condemned. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige will be present in Turin to accompany their retrospective with a Masterclass.
“As filmmakers and artists, we create without necessarily having the audience in mind, but we create for the other, with the hope of an encounter, in the wish and need of a poetic and political sharing, of a common questioning. A retrospective like the one offered by Torino is a moment where this sharing can take place fully in a territory of art and cinema. We can’t wait!”
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are filmmakers and artists from Lebanon who, since the late 1990s, integrate photographs, videos, performances, installations, sculptures, and movies to create elaborations and representations that reflect on the History, past experiences, and consciousness of their country and beyond, and of populations devastated by war.
As filmmakers, they have directed many movies that alternate – and often overlap – documentaries and fiction films, all of which have been crowned with success at the major international festivals. Their debut film, Around the Pink House (Al Bayt el Zaher, 1999), was followed by The Lost Film (Al Film Al Makfoud, 2003), A Perfect Day (Yawmon Akhar, 2005), the FIPRESCI Prize at Locarno, Khiam 2000-2007 (2008), Je veux voir (2008, Official Selection at Cannes), The Lebanese Rocket Society: The Strange Tale of The Lebanese Space Race (2012), ISMYRNA (2016), and their recent movie Memory Box (2021), in Competition at the Berlinale. As artists, they have further developed the topic of history kept secret, construction of imaginaries and the invisible and latent traces, making it the focus of exhibits, installations, and performances, such as Circle of Confusion (1997), Lasting Images (2003), Wonder Beirut (2009), SCAMS (2014), and Unconformities (2017), which have been featured in major museums worldwide. The authors of numerous publications, they have often been invited to give lectures and performances in institutions in Lebanon and Europe. They are the co-founders (with Georges Schoucair) of the production company Abbout Productions and are members of the Metropolis Art Cinema Association and Cinemathèque Beirut.