Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Regressing into the Future

I had a chance yesterday to take a look at Lebanon in 1980 through the lens of Maroun Baghdadi. The film is called Hamasat, or Whispers, and it captures the zeitgeist of that era. This film along with the rest of Baghdadi's films will be released by Nadi Likul El Nas later this year for those who are interested. One could go at length about the work this private initiative is going through to salvage some of Lebanon's visual history or about Maroun Baghdadi's life and mysterious death, but I will just touch a little on the content of this film.

You could take all the people who were interviewed in this film, add a few grey hairs to some, bury others six feet under as some of them have taken that route over the past 31 years; and ask them to describe Lebanon 2011. You'd probably hear them say the same exact thing they said in 1980. Actually this is not an assumption on my part, some of these characters still go in front of cameras and say the same things.

How's the banking sector performing in these difficult times, Mr. Central Bank employee?


How about you, Mr. young playwright? Where are things heading?

Now it's one thing for a critical playwright to continue doing the same thing 3 decades later... but when a head of state is stuck repeating the same lines from when he was wearing a John Travolta head of hair, you know that state isn't exactly progressing.

P.S. I'm not sure if there was an FBI warning about shooting in the Cinema, but if there was I did ask for permission from Nadi Likul El Nas himself to use these clips.

1 comment:

Moussa Bashir said...

history in lebanon is neither a straight arrow nor it is helical. it is cyclical with a radius so small it's stuck in a singular point, a singularity.