West Beirut (film)

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West Beirut
West Beirut.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ziad Doueiri
Written by Ziad Doueiri
Starring Rami Doueiri
Mohamad Chamas
Rola Al Amin
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography Ricardo Jacques Gale
Edited by Dominique Marcombe
Release date
  • 1998 (1998)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Lebanon
Language Arabic

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.[1][2]


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.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  2. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]