Fifteen Lebanese filmmakers have launched a series of short films to tell fifteen stories about the dramatic incident that struck Beirut in early August. The opportunity to look back on these tragic events through the eyes of those who lived it on the front line.
The project is called “Beirut 6:07”, in reference to the time when the explosion devastated the city. The Lebanese director Mazen Fayad, among others, lives and works in Beirut,
who helped get the project off the ground. For him, making these films is “a duty not to forget” as much as a “therapy”.
Fifteen stories, fifteen visions
In the series of fifteen films, broadcasted since this weekend on Shahid VIP, the streaming platform of the MBC network, we find different types and backgrounds. Mazen Fayad’s film is called Abbas and Fadel, and it is a family story, based on the adventures of a father and his son, which is inspired by real events.
Another short film in the series is 175, directed by Caroline Labaki, sister of the director Nadine, to whom we owe the excellent Capharnaum. He follows a team of firemen who were the first to react to the disaster.
A creative therapy
Both directors saw their lives turned upside down by the disaster, their property damaged, and their memories threatened with extinction. “The devastation before I even got home, I can’t describe it. It’s not because I care about the material thing, but somewhere you have your whole life in your house. It was in this house that Nadine and I started working together. This is where Nadine’s film, Caramel, was made. This is where I started living alone when Nadine got married. All these memories are very present”.
The series receives strong criticism regarding temporality, from people who find it indecent to publish content related to the drama so soon after the event. Criticisms to which Fayad answers: “We must not forget. We must talk about it. It is part of our healing. We have the consent of all the families whose stories we tell. They thanked us for honoring their loved ones and immortalizing their memory, so my conscience is clear because our heart is in the right place”.
It is hoped that the films will be made available to as many people as possible as soon as possible…