West Beirut (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ziad Doueiri|
|Written by||Ziad Doueiri|
Rola Al Amin
|Music by||Stewart Copeland|
|Cinematography||Ricardo Jacques Gale|
|Edited by||Dominique Marcombe|
West Beirut (French: West Beyrouth (À l'abri les enfants); Arabic: بيروت الغربية Beyrouth Al Gharbiyya) is a 1998 Lebanese drama film written and directed by Ziad Doueiri. The film was selected as the Lebanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
In April 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Muslim-Christian line and is divided into East and West Beirut. After the line was created, Tarek is now considered to live in west Beirut (the Muslim part and Tarek is Muslim himself) and is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: school has closed (and is situated in east Beirut no longer accessible to Muslims since Christians build up walls to defend themselves), the violence is fascinating, getting from West to East is a game. His mother wants to leave the country; but 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 (name's translation: Walid's Mom). He then takes Omar and May there. Family tensions rise. Later on and as he comes of age, the war moves inexorably from adventure to a nationwide tragedy.
- Rami Doueiri as Tarek
- Mohamad Chamas as Omar
- Rola Al-Amin as May
- Carmen Lebbos as Hala, Tarek's mother
- Joseph Bou Nassar as Riad, Tarek' father
- Liliane Nemri as Nahida(a neighbor)
- Leïla Karam as Brothel Madam
- Hassan Farhat as Roadblock Militiaman
- Mahmoud Mabsout as Baker
- Fadi Abou Khalil as Bakery Militiaman
- Prix François Chalais at the Directors' fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival (1998)
- FIPRESCI International Critics' Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (1998)
- Best First Film at the Carthage Film Festival (1998)
- Youth Jury Award at the Valladolid International Film Festival (1998)
- SAA Script Award at the Fribourg International Film Festival (1999)
- List of submissions to the 71st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Lebanese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- "45 Countries Submit Films for Oscar Consideration". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 19 November 1998. Archived from the original on 19 February 1999. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- West Beirut at the Internet Movie Database
- Macnab, Geoffrey (August 1999). "West Beirut". Sight and Sound. British Film Institute. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- Nesselson, Lisa (31 May 1998). "West Beyrouth". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- O'Hehir, Andrew (9 September 1999). "West Beirut". Salon. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- Interview with Ziad Doueiri about "West Beiruth" in Salon 1999-09-09. Retrieved 2010-08-25
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