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(Posthumous)

Alternative Visions

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
7:30 p.m. In the Real of the Senses: New Lebanese Videos
Lamia Joreige, Ghassan Salhab, Maher Abi Samra (Lebanon, 2005–2007)

Curated and Introduced by Peter Limbrick


Peter Limbrick is assistant professor of film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The videos in this program address the relationship between the scars of the real—cut so harshly into the built environments of Beirut—and the senses of those who experience them. Alternating the bombardment of Beirut with a contemplative journey to South Lebanon after the July 2006 war, Nights and Days investigates the gaps between the experience of war and our means of seeing, hearing, and representing it. (Posthumous) asks what happens when the bombs stop falling: how can one represent death’s aftermath? This film-essay reflects on the conditions of its own possibility as it surveys the newly bombed remains of Beirut’s suburbs. In its haunting sequence of just a few shots, Merely a Smell evokes the assault on the senses brought by the war, as relief workers move the bodies of the dead. Shot within the confines of the Chatila refugee camp in Beirut, long takes linger on the decrepit walls and overbuilt spaces of the camp as Roundabout Chatila follows its residents’ movements and their stories. With stunning use of sound and image, the film relates the texture of life in permanent exile.

—Peter Limbrick

Nights and Days (Lamia Joreige, 2007, 17 mins, Color). (Posthumous) (Ghassan Salhab, 2007, Color, 28 mins). Merely a Smell (Maher Abi Samra, 2007, 11 mins, B&W). Roundabout Chatila (Maher Abi Samra, 2005, 50 mins, Color)

• (Total running time: 106 mins, Beta SP, MiniDV, From the artists. With thanks to Sonia El-Feki, artistic director, Arab Film Festival.)