• International Competition

And the living is easy

Lamia Joreige

Beirut, 2011: the city seems strangely calm while all around the region is ablaze. How to convey the paradoxes of this impalpable and heavy atmosphere, the invisible violence of the choices that this demands? Lamia Joreige focuses on five characters in crisis, caught between the temptation of exile and the need, sometimes visceral and sometimes haunting, to stay. Whether a musician (Tarek Atoui as himself) or a commercial agent, Lamia Joreige asked each temporary actor to imagine scenes inspired by their life, whether romantic, professional or social, she then shot in places that were dear or familiar to them: the seafront, a childhood neighbourhood or a place with a particular view of the city. And from that choice arose, more discreet but at the heart of the film, a sense of self distanced from itself, a mute languor that sharpens and doubles the almost muffl ed tension that pervades the film, far from any shouting and overt violence. The ghosts of a painful past are still present and thus echo an environment that is as threatening (wars) as it is fascinating (the Egyptian and Syrian uprisings), furtive snippets of which arise via internet or in conversation. And in this swaying of bodies at grips with the city and history, Beirut reconfigures itself into many singular moments through which to gradually paint its emotional portrait. (NF)

  • International Competition

Technical sheet

France/ Lebanon, 2014, Colour, HD, Stereo, 74’

Original version : arabic
Subtitles : english
Script : Lamia Joreige
Photography : Rachel Aoun
Editing : Avakian Vartan
Sound : Cédric Ayem, Maurice Lattouf, Sephane Rives
Casting : Mireille Kassar, Firas Beydoun, Anna Ogden-Smith, Raïa Haidar, Tarek Atoui

Production & distribution : Les Films d’Ici

Filmography :
– Nights and Days, 2007
– Un voyage, 2006
– Ici et peut-être ailleurs, 2003