7.8/10
2,328
49 user 10 critic

West Beirut (1998)

West Beyrouth (À l'abri les enfants) (original title)
In April, 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Moslem-Christian line. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the wake of Israel's 2006 bombardment of Lebanon, a determined woman finds her way into the country convincing a taxi cab driver to take a risky journey around the scarred region in search of her sister and her son.

Director: Philippe Aractingi
Stars: Nada Abou Farhat, Georges Khabbaz, Rawia Elchab
Bosta (2005)
Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fifteen years after a traumatic explosion in his native Beirut, Kamal Maf'ouss returns from France, where he was nationalized and become a composer-choreographer. He reassembles youth ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Aractingi
Stars: Rodney El Haddad, Nadine Labaki, Nada Abou Farhat
Caramel (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut.

Director: Nadine Labaki
Stars: Nadine Labaki, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisèle Aouad
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village.

Director: Nadine Labaki
Stars: Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Nadine Labaki, Yvonne Maalouf
Stray Bullet (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Noha is about to get married. Her family is relieved to see her take advantage of this last chance before officially becoming a spinster just like her sister. Everything seems to be going ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Hachem
Stars: Badih Bouchakra, Takla Chamoun, Nadine Labaki
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A romantic drama about a working-class woman and her experiences traveling back home.

Director: Annemarie Jacir
Stars: Suheir Hammad, Saleh Bakri, Riyad Ideis
Very Big Shot (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Intending to smuggle drugs across the borders, a small-time Lebanese drug-dealer slyly manipulates public opinion with the help of an underrated filmmaker.

Director: Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya
Stars: Alain Saadeh, Wissam Fares, Fouad Yammine
Zozo (2005)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Lebanese boy gets separated from his family during the civil war and ends up in Sweden.

Director: Josef Fares
Stars: Imad Creidi, Antoinette Turk, Elias Gergi
Beyrouth hôtel (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

One evening, a married young singer Zoha meets the French lawyer Mathieu in a night club in Beirut. Mathieu will become suspected of spying, while Zoha is trying to flee from her husband. ... See full summary »

Director: Danielle Arbid
Stars: Charles Berling, Darine Hamze, Fadi Abi Samra
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

About a Palestinian girl of 17 who wants to get married to the man of her own choosing. Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband ... See full summary »

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stars: Clara Khoury, Khalifa Natour, Ismael Dabbag
Paradise Now (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stars: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal
The Attack (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An Arab surgeon living in Tel Aviv discovers a dark secret about his wife in the aftermath of a suicide bombing.

Director: Ziad Doueiri
Stars: Ali Suliman, Reymonde Amsallem, Evgenia Dodina
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Rami Doueiri ...
Tarek Noueri
Naamar Sahli
Mohamad Chamas ...
Omar (as Mouhidine Guerra)
Rola Al Amin ...
May (as Rolande Amin)
Carmen Lebbos ...
Hala Noueri - Tarek's mother (as Carmen Loubbos)
Joseph Bou Nassar ...
Riad Noueri - Tarek' father (as Joseph Nassar)
Liliane Nemri ...
Neighbor (as Liliane Nemry)
Leïla Karam ...
Oum Walid - the madame (as Leila Karam)
Mahmoud Mabsout ...
Hassan - the baker
Hassan Farhat ...
Roadblock Militiaman
Fadi Abou Khalil ...
Bakery Militiaman (as Fadi Abi Samra)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abla Khoury
Edit

Storyline

In April, 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Moslem-Christian line. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: school has closed, the violence is fascinating, getting from West to East is a game. His mother wants to leave; his father refuses. Tarek spends time with May, a Christian, orphaned and living in his building. By accident, Tarek goes to an infamous brothel in the war-torn Olive Quarter, meeting its legendary madam, Oum Walid. He then takes Omar and May there using her underwear as a white flag for safe passage. Family tensions rise. As he comes of age, the war moves inexorably from adventure to tragedy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 October 1998 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

West Beirut  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,157 (USA) (3 September 1999)

Gross:

$343,229 (USA) (22 September 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

'Mohammad Chamas' who played Omar in the movie was discovered by accident. At one time while the crew was preparing the set and not having found an actor to play Omar, Mohammed was passing by and he had a fight with one of the crew members. The director noticed him and immediately asked him to play the character. After having lived in an orphanage most of his life, becoming a lead in a motion picture was an important change of pace. See more »

Goofs

Chevrolet M1008 Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicles - a militarized 5/4 ton version of the third generation Chevrolet C/K pickup - are seen in the movie, which was supposed to have taken place in 1975. The Chevrolet M1008 did not enter production until 1984. See more »

Connections

References Airport 1975 (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Chant Byzantin Alleluia
by Soeur Marie Keyrouz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The other side of war
3 September 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Having lived in North America my entire life, and only seeing the rest of the world through movies, books, and TV, I confess I have no experience of what the world is like when your home is a battlefield, especially in places like the Balkans and the Middle East, which have been sources of strife for several centuries. For many, of course, it's a source of tragedy. But what about those who may live on the edge of conflict, but aren't directly involved? For those who the challenge is simply to fit your day to day life around the war? HOPE AND GLORY was a film like that, though it was also about a little boy who could of course only see school was out, and WEST BEIRUT is like that as well; in fact, it retains the child-like view of HOPE AND GLORY but balances it with the adult viewpoint.

Writer-director Ziad Doueiri isn't interested in making a tract about the Lebanese Civil War(though he doesn't slight from its horrors, as in its opening scene of the bus massacre), but rather picking up the details of everyday life there. If there's a message, and Doueiri refreshingly doesn't hammer us over the head with one, it seems to be this; you do what you can. That's the attitude of the father of the main character Tarak; when both his wife and his son want to leave, he reminds them they really have no place else to go, these things have happened before, but they will stop, and life will go on. You can even find humor in your existence(as when Tarak escapes a battle by hiding in a car, which then takes him to what he thinks is a group of guerrillas but turns out to be something else entirely).

Doueiri, who was the second-unit cameraman on every film Quentin Tarantino directed, not only shows his visual flair, but also tells a compelling story, although with a few slow spots, and while the main characters are teens coming of age, we see the adult point of view as well; sometimes it's mocked(when Tarak's friend Omar complains his father thinks all Western culture is the devil's work, Tarak replies, puzzled, "How does Paul Anka come from Satan?"), but mostly it's taken seriously, and that, I think, helps make this a good film. Doueiri and his brother Rami(who plays Tarak) are ones to watch.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ending lou131
Guitar piece in movie? transl-me
Question about Movie Similar to This CutUrHairHippie
Idiot kids tosha-2
escape from hell laimisas
Favorite Character wsemaan07
Discuss West Beirut (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?