‘Memory Box’ Review: Lyrical Lebanese Drama Unearths a Mother’s Past

‘Memory Box’ Review: Lyrical Lebanese Drama Unearths a Mother’s Past
Though it feels like the phrase “generational trauma” is everywhere these days, it’s only in the past decade that growing mental health awareness has made such terms ubiquitous. Though scientists have long studied the ways inherited trauma can actually alter our DNA, only recently have epigenetics filtered into everyday usage. But artists do not need science to tell them what they feel in their bones, and film is a powerful tool to illustrate the ephemeral memories one stores in the body.

Set between present-day Montreal and 1980s Beirut, “Memory Box” actualizes a treasure trove of unprocessed trauma in the form of a mysterious box of letters, scrapbooks, and tapes. When a curious daughter discovers a vast archive of her mother’s distant past, she begins to understand the difficult woman who raised her in new ways. As cassette recordings fade into voice memos, the work of filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas
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