7.8/10
2,451
50 user 11 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
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
Bosta (2005)
Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
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
Rsasa taycheh (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
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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, Fouad Yammine, Wissam Fares
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
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
Habbet Loulou (2013)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In modern day Lebanon, in a country divided between those who have too little and those who have too much, three women try to defy their social labeling and incapability.

Director: Layal M. Rajha
Stars: Takla Chamoun, Zeina Makki, Lorraine Kodeih
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
Tannoura Maxi (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It was the summer of 82, when a priest, about to be ordered, was exhausted by temptations and an arrogant girl felt passionately in love... A sifted memory and a personal history of a ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Bou Eid
Stars: Joy Karam, Chady Tineh, Carol Abboud
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

In one scene when Tarek and Omar can't find May and sit down to talk, a Peugeot 505 appears in the background. Peugeot hadn't released their 505 model in 1975-76, the year at which the scene is supposed to happen. See more »

Connections

References Bullitt (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Your Baby
Written by Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch
Performed by George MacCrae
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Super movie, very "edutaining"
23 July 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Well you certainly don't become an expert on Late 20th century Lebanese politics by watching this movie. But for those of us with an outside interest and a yawning gap of understanding and knowledge, this movie is superb "edutainment". It both educates and entertains.

The transition of the civil war through the eyes of these youngsters, as the movie goes on is moving. It starts off more or less as an adventure. It takes time to dawn on the characters that the civil war is tearing their lives apart.

The family debates about whether to stay or go are very moving. We know many people in the Lebanese community here in the UK, many of them (or their parents) must have gone through those heart-wrenching decisions back then.

The "romance" between the Muslim boy(s) and the Christian girl is also moving. It avoids the trap of descending into a Levantine Romeo & Juliet, however it seems a shame that the girl seems to just drift out of the story-line just at the point that we are all falling in love with her!

See it, it will be worth it.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?