YIDFF 2017 Encore Screenings Part 6
Screenings at the Yamagata Documentary Film Library present documentaries and movies rarely shown on television or in theaters, including works from the Film Library vaults.
14:00- 19:00-（screens twice）
YIDFF 2017 New Asian Currents
Director: Eliane Raheb / LEBANON, UAE / 2016 / 95 min
In a village in northern Lebanon close to the border with Syria, farmland has been abandoned due to enduring sectarian conflict in the area and the war in Syria. Families of different religions used to live together side by side, but now an exclusionary sentiment is in the air. The film follows Haykal, a man who raises apples and sheep, and runs a restaurant with Ruwaida; at the same time building a house stone by stone so that his wife and children might someday return home. He lives his life as he always has—as if the act of remaining on this land has turned into something of a calling.
Haykal’s story is important in the political time being, for he is, as his name indicates, a temple that guards the area where there are geographical and sectarian intersections (between Shiaa’s Hermel clearing, the Sunni’s Lebanese-Syrian north border and his Christian village). He represents the desire of Christians to stay on their land amidst the prevalence of fear of threats from the extremist currents. Unlike the sectarian people of his Christian village, Haykal “feudal” by working with his hands, and he is rooted as a Christian who lives among Muslims.
Haykal is like a marked temple in the place he resides, that he builds and protects. Those Who Remain contemplates his story as a metaphor for a national situation that simply strives to keep the Christians of the Levant on their land without belonging to sectarian parties, for Haykal’s main characteristic is human and not sectarian.
YIDFF 2009 New Asian Currents Award of Excellence
Director: Eliane Raheb / LEBANON / 2008 / 58 min
In the never-ending conflict in Lebanon, everyone, regardless of religious sect or political party, has suffered or lost a loved one. In August 2006, during the weeks of continuous Israeli air raids on Beirut, the director and her friends share with their parents a desire for peace but take different routes of action to express it. The Christian Maronite director involves her whole family and her friends in the production of the film, revealing the honest feelings—bordering on resignation—that arise from a life lived in daily chaos.
In a sectarian state like Lebanon, people are born, raised, and defined through their sectarian identity. As for myself, I was born in Beirut in a Christian Maronite family, and this religious belonging became, since my early childhood, my identity. I can remember that during the civil war in Lebanon, my father took us to the mountains, an area totally inhabited by Christians, where he thought we would be protected from sectarian massacres. There we were not directly exposed to the sectarian combat, but to the “protection” of a fanatic Christian militia (the Lebanese forces) who, in the name of Jesus Christ and under the slogan of “protecting the Christian community,” was brainwashing us against Muslims, Palestinians, Syrians, and other Christians who would be different.
After the war, from 1990 till 2005, I spent 15 years realizing how much sectarianism destroys human beings, how much it erects a barrier to mutual understanding and social justice. I can see it clearly in my environment: my parents, my uncles, my sisters closed and isolated themselves in their Christian identity and till today they act as fatalist minorities, fearing everything.
Lately, since the 14th of February 2005, Lebanon has been living on the edge of war.
It is a very tense situation, sectarianism has been growing stronger among different communities, and I personally fear that a new civil war is approaching.
Source：YIDFF 2009 Official Catalog
[Venue]The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library (Yamagata Big Wing 3F)
[Admission]Free admission for members (Member’s fee: free)
[Presented by]YIDFF (NPO)
[Contact]e-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org (YIDFF Yamagata office)