Cinema Oasis continues with its “Filmmaker in Focus” programme, this time focusing on the late great female director from Lebanon, Jocelyne Saab, and showing her Beirut trilogy “Witness in Beirut”, “Once Upon a Time in Beirut” and “Letter from Beirut” and “Beirut Never Again”.
The screenings kick off today with all three films being shown until January 26.
“Letter from Beirut” and “Beirut Never Again” will be shown together. “Letter”, which runs for 48 minutes, was made in 1978 and follows a young woman through the bullet-pocked and bomb-wrecked ruins, encountering Israeli tanks and international checkpoints. “Beirut Never Again” portrays the city, once the playground of the rich, in ruins from the civil war.
“Once Upon a Time in Beirut”, which was made in 1994, was dedicated to the anniversary of a century of cinema and the founding of the Lebanese cinematheque. It follows two young women on a journey to explore Beirut of the past with a reclusive film expert. That leads them to tour the city through films.
Saab gained attention with her first featurelength documentary “Lebanon in Turmoil” (1975) and also released works about Iran, “The Polisario Front of Western Sahara”, and Vietnam. In recent years, her photo installations and her art film “What’s Going On” (2010) earned her international acclaim.
She also founded the organisation Cultural Resistance, and in 2013, became the organiser and curator of the Tripoli Film Festival, Lebanon’s first film festival featuring films of Asia and the Mediterranean area.
Saab died on Monday at the age of 70.