Culture articles

Pivotal events of 2020

DECEMBER 19Parliamentary consultations take place. Mr. Hassan Diab is nominated to form a government, backed by the Amal movement, Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Marada and others. DECEMBER 20-31Heavy protests take place, protesting the nomination of Hassan Diab as Prime Minister. JANUARY 14Lebanese Protests resume after weeks of calm. Banks are heavily targeted as

Feast, family, and nation

Anyone Lebanese, or who has visited Lebanon, will tell you we have strong family bonds and long family lunches. While the lunches are hardly disputable, in today’s society how strong are the family bonds, really? Renowned theater director and political activist Lucien Bourjeily explores the subject of the Lebanese family and its wider context in

The future is film

Lebanon’s cinema industry is improving in terms of quantity and quality, with more films being made since the early 2000s, and film industry experts agreeing that the standards of the productions themselves are much higher than before. 2017 was a good year for the Lebanese film industry, with the release of acclaimed movies, reoccurring festivals

Developing an industry and healing a nation

A few years ago, when Ziad Doueiri was staying in the Monot district of Beirut, he got into an argument with a construction worker over a leaky pipe on his balcony. The matter was resolved quickly, but the filmmaker and his co-writer Joelle Touma began to think about what other possible scenarios could have emerged

Traveling with the roof down

When Brahim Samaha founded the Cabriolet Film Festival nine years ago, it was to support his local filmmaker friends. He had just moved back to Lebanon from Italy, and realized that young directors didn’t get many chances to show their projects, and often buried their beautifully developed short films as soon as they were officially

Historic year for Lebanon at Cannes

It’s an exciting time for Lebanese cinema. The Cannes Film Festival, held May 17-28, was especially significant this year for Lebanon. Every year since 2005 a delegation has been present at our national pavilion, which aims to promote the local industry. But in 2017, Lebanon was also chosen to take part in The Factory, a

A different Baalbek

Art is for everyone – this sentiment seems to echo more and more across Lebanon’s art scene and is the central vision of the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL). In addition to launching plans for a free contemporary art museum, the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA), the organization

Sounds of a Lebanese love story

Philippe Aractingi, mostly famed for his war-related movies like the critically acclaimed “Bosta” (2005), its follow-up “Under the Bombs” (2007) and his biopic “Heritages” (2013), has offered his fans the exquisite fruit of two years of labor. “Listen (Ismaii)” is a masterfully crafted, delightful piece of art that is co-written, co-produced and directed by the

Society censored on screen

Sometimes the news is not enough. Using art, specifically cinema, can be an effective medium to get a point across, reach audiences and highlight important world issues. For this reason, the Beirut International Film Festival committee has selected films that look at some of the world and region’s most pertinent issues for this year’s Beirut

Silver screen’s golden age

Strolling amid vintage cinema posters at the Le Yacht Club gallery in Zaitunay Bay was a glamorous walk through the Golden Era of Arab film, albeit a brief and ultimately sad one. A colorful patchwork of smiling and theatrically glaring famous faces — Fayrouz, Sabah, Chouchou and others — these posters are themselves works of