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: ...
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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.
Nada Abou Farhat,
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 »
Rodney El Haddad,
Nada Abou Farhat
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 »
Fadi Abi Samra
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 »
In a remote and poor village, three girls decide to change their destiny. They plan to rub a truck assuming its loaded with cash.. but what they never imagined is found in the truck and this changes their village and own lives forever.
Elie F. Habib
Maguy Bou Ghosen,
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
The title "West Beyrouth" has the first word "West" in English, and the spelling of the second word "Beyrouth" in French. The director said that it's an allegory to the trilingual cultrue existing in Lebanon: Arabic being the native language, and French and English being the 2 other quintessential languages spoken there. See more »
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 »
Great slice of history, but without a story to match
I was glad to have seen this film, since it showed me a part of the world that I have never seen in such detail before. And despite having no first-hand knowledge of the country, I nonetheless felt there was an authenticity and sincerity about the film that appealed to me. I have heard that there are some inaccurate details, but "West Beyrouth" does not presume to explain any of the larger historical or political events. Rather, it wishes to communicate something of the experience of living in a world being torn apart by forces that can seem nearly incomprehensible by those caught between them. And in that goal, I felt the film enjoyed some success.
I was interested by all the characters as they were introduced, but as the film progresses most of them wind up going in circles, repeating themselves, or just standing idly by. The story, which starts out effectively, loses its narrative drive, and things muddle ahead until eventually the movie is over. I thought it was a shame that a film that so vividly evoked a place and time, could not offer a story of similar strength.
The performances are good, though, and there is some fine music by Stewart Copeland as well. "West Beyrouth" may function better as a glimpse into history than as an engrossing cinematic work, but I still felt it to be worthwhile viewing.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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