As part of the exhibition Before the Cypress Broke, Void will present four films from Lebanon selected by Jowe Harfouche who has said:
“This program showcases four films from Lebanon that predate the moment of extreme collapse and systemic unraveling the country has been enduring. Together, these documentaries render a portrait of Beirut, euphoric, oppressive, anxious, nostalgic, that unsettles the ‘before and after’ dichotomy. Each of them plays this not-so-incidental double role of archiving a very precise moment in our modern past all the while speculating potentialities for our future.
From depicting marginalisation across sect and class, to the histories of political organising and rebellion against neoliberal and authoritarian practices, to the fears and dreams of the residents of Beirut under a despotic regime, these four films, that also question and rethink the documentary form, are ever so timely.”
The first film 74 (The reconstitution of a struggle) by Rania Rafei & Raed Rafei will be shown on the 10th of April at 19:30 and will be available until 23:30. It is free of charge and you can book by following the link on this page.
1974: Students demonstrate against a tuition increase at the American University of Beirut. For 37 days, they occupied university offices. With the Lebanese student revolt of 1974 as their starting point, filmmakers Rania and Raed Rafei direct an absorbing documentary on the core issues of revolution and democracy. In addition to a meticulous re-enactment, they include theatrical improvisations in which today’s activists give their interpretations of the student leaders’ actions in ’74.
Rania Rafei is a Lebanese filmmaker. She has written and directed several short-films and documentaries that were screened in many festivals. 74 (The Reconstitution of a Struggle) is her first feature. The film premiered at the FID Marseille, an international film festival, and received a national prize. Rania is currently preparing for her new film.
Raed Rafei is a Lebanese journalist and filmmaker . Since 2004, he has worked as a reporter and a blogger covering political, social and economic issues related to Lebanon and the Middle East. 74 (The Reconstitution of a Struggle) is her first feature. The film premiered at the FID Marseille, an international film festival, and received a national prize. Raed is preparing for his new film.
74 (The reconstitution of a struggle)
Rania Rafei & Raed Rafei Lebanon
2012, Color and Black & White, Digital Beta, DCP, 100’
In Arabic with English subtitles or French subtitles.
Director: Rania Rafei, Raed Rafei
Before the Cypress Broke is an exhibition presented in partnership with the Beirut Art Residency (BAR). It will run online and at Void Gallery (COVID-19 restrictions-pending) between 17.04-05.06.2021. Find out more about it at www.derryvoid.com/exhibitions/before-the-cypress-broke/.
Void Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, Department for Communities, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enkalon Foundation, Ragdoll Foundation, COVID 19 Charities Fund, the Arts Society, Art Fund, and Garfield Weston Foundation.