Sep 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm
Beirut Over and Over Again
A solidarity screening for relief in Beirut
Please join us for a solidarity screening of films to benefit and send aid for disaster relief in Beirut in the backyard LEAN-TO at UnionDocs. Seating is sold in socially-distanced paired groupings.
You may have seen the pictures and videos of the explosion that shook Beirut at 6:08 pm on August 4th. It was larger than anyone can imagine.
Till today, there are at least 190 deaths and thousands of injured and displaced. Many have lost their wives, husbands, kids, lovers, homes and livelihoods. Protests against the encrusted political system represented by the Lebanese government took place after the catastrophe and were answered with more violence, tear gas, rubber bullets, pellets, repression. A state of military emergency was declared and is threatening our freedom to protest and stand against a regime that has literally blown us all up. The regime is still keeping us in the dark as to what really happened at the dock number 12 at the port that day. Meanwhile we are cleaning up our streets, mourning our dead, worried sick about those that remain unfound and still counting the damages.
The catastrophe has escalated the severe difficulties experienced by many in Lebanon due to political inertia, the collapse of the national economy, and the global pandemic. Many are struggling to survive and need our help to rebuild homes, shops, find shelter and food, replace their work tools that they lost during the blast.
In light of this situation, we have selected several films from and about Beirut to be screened in various cities around the world. In solidarity with the people of Beirut, all proceeds from these screenings will go towards initiatives that are directly supporting domestic workers, refugees, transgender and LGBTQ, offering basic food and rebuilding measures, as well as disaster relief for the arts.
This screening was organized and facilitated with Nour Ouayda (Beirut) and Philip Widmann (Berlin). Big thanks to them for their work to put this together. 100% of tonight’s proceeds will go towards on the ground support and relief efforts.
Hassan Julien Chehouri | 2019 | 30s | Digital | English | Music: Charbel Haber - Crossing the Danube
I made this short video in 2019, shot on my phone from my balcony which overlooks the port. Overlooking the 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate.
Beyrouth ma ville (Beirut my city)
Jocelyne Saab | 1982 | 38’ | 16mm to digital file | French & Arabic
In July 1982 the Israeli army laid siege to Beirut. Four years earlier Jocelyne Saab saw her 150-year old childhood home go up in flames. She asked herself: when did all this begin? Every place becomes a historical site and every name a memory.
Le Voyage immobile / على قد الشوق / As Far As Yearning
Mohamed Soueid & Ghassan Salhab | 2017 | 23’ | Digital | Arabic with English subtitles
As Far as Yearning is that dialogue-in-progress taking the shape of a film composed by sound, performed by words, perforated by images still in motion. Ghassan Salhab and Mohamed Soueid are embracing a sense of survival. This film is a sixth sense they nurtured in a world that has become faceless. Their film essay is a personal attempt to be two in one. Disguised as men, they walk among men who left behind their shadows.
Siska | 2011 | 21’ | Super 8 transferred to video | no dialog
Lost in time and translation, images transport us on a journey behind the modernist facade of Beirut’s electricity building. The images shot on Super 8 are accompanied by droning noises reminiscent of experimental, electronic sounds of the 1950s and 60s. The video portrays Lebanon’s National Electricity building as an homage to a once modernist project linked to the very construction of Lebanon’s modern state. Till today Beirut suffers from a power cut of three hours a day, outside of the capital up to 8 hours per 24, thus this building is a highly politicized subject. The question of who is in control of the actual power switch is reflecting the confessional divisions of Lebanon in general and has recently made the building the aim of violent protests.
*** If you would like to suggest or organise fundraising screenings elsewhere, please get in touch with Nour Ouayda (Beirut) and Philip Widmann (Berlin): [email protected]**