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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:

Ziad Doueiri

Writer:

Ziad Doueiri
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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Norway | Lebanon | Belgium

Language:

Arabic | French

Release Date:

30 October 1998 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

West Beirut See more »

Filming Locations:

Beirut, Lebanon

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,157, 5 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$343,229, 24 September 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

On 13 April 1975, while class is in session, Tarek watches the ambush of the bus from the balcony of his school in Christian-dominated East Beirut. 13 April 1975 was a Sunday. Schools in East Beirut are closed on Sundays. See more »

Connections

References Mushukunin-betsuchô (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Bambi Saïdi
Performed by les Musiciens du Nil
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very true experience of the Lebanese civil war.
6 February 1999 | by HaniSee all my reviews

West Beiruth is an excellent film. It reveals the true image of the civil war in Lebanon, through the eyes and adventures of two young friends, on the way to their adulthood. Experiencing love, friendship, a split society, and the horrors of war. West Beiruth is not a high budget movie, but it is very good in Directing, cinematography, script and acting. I would very much recommend it to everybody. It is a must see.


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