Ahlan Wa Sahlan Lebanese Film Enthusiasts!
We’ve had an exhilarating weekend experiencing the 2023 Lebanese Film Festival, which was filled with diverse films, each capturing unique elements of Lebanese and Middle Eastern culture. Let’s delve into the highlights of the weekend:
Friday, 15 September at 7.00pm: Hardabasht – Action Unleashed
The weekend kicked off with a thrilling action film, Hardabasht. This adrenaline-pumping movie kept the audience on the edge of their seats as they experienced heart-racing action sequences and a captivating storyline, whereby a family’s morality and loyalties were put into question as they were torn apart by drugs and faith. The Lebanese film industry showcased its prowess in the action genre, leaving us eagerly anticipating more.
Saturday, 16 September at 6.00pm: Mother Valley – A Glimpse into History
Stepping back in time to 1958, Mother Valley immersed us in a captivating drama. The film beautifully depicted the trials and tribulations of an era, offering a glimpse into Lebanese history. Despite living in conflicting turmoil of the civil war, Layla, a ‘model wife’ and young mother retreats in a peaceful village, while her sisters, Eva and Nada, defy societal norms by challenging arranged marriages during the wedding season. The powerful storytelling and compelling performances left a lasting impression, reminding us of the richness of our cultural heritage as well as the importance of freedom of choice, even though you might be going against the grain!
Sunday, 17 September: A Day of Diversity
4.15pm: All Roads Lead to Rome – A Family-Friendly Comedy
Sunday afternoon was dedicated to laughter and family-friendly fun with All Roads Lead to Rome. This delightful comedy brought smiles and laughter to audiences, proving that Lebanese filmmakers can masterfully create light-hearted and entertaining films suitable for all ages.
6.30pm: Jacir – An Immigrant’s Journey of Courage
Closing the weekend was the highly acclaimed drama Jacir, a film of the year starring Lebanese actor Malek Rahbani. A deeply moving portrayal of a Syrian immigrant’s challenges and triumphs in the US was showcased, which shed light on pressing societal issues.
Thank you to the Lebanese Film Festival Committee, Hoyts Cinema, and the Arabic Language Cultural Association of South Australia, for providing us with an enriching weekend of cinematic brilliance! We look forward to more Lebanese films in future, which are guaranteed to offer a unique perspective on life, love, and the human experience.