Creative Documentary | Running Time: 65 minutes
2021 / Arabic
Country: Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United States of America (USA)
Lebanese filmmaker Karim Kassem returned to Beirut in 2020, intending to make another film altogether. Then a cataclysmic explosion at the seaport – the largest non-nuclear explosion on record – threw the city into shock and turmoil. While recriminations raged over the government corruption and neglect that led to the disaster, Kassem began filming its aftermath, recording without commentary the smouldering rubble and broken windows and the haunted faces of survivors. At the same time, we see signs of a city trying to heal. In the absence of a narration - which could never do justice to the horror of what happened - the only sounds come from the ambient score and of people stoically getting on with their lives: children playing football, the whirr of a vacuum cleaner and news reports saying the search for bodies continues. Kassem’s quietly moving act of witness deservedly won the top award in the Envision section of IDFA. This film is supported by the Red Sea Fund.