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Mother, Lebanon & Me
A Film by Olga Nakkas
Lebanon, 2009, 70 minutes, Color, DVD, Arabic, French, Subtitled
Order No. W111024
A visually striking meditation on loss and a perceptive political critique, this deeply personal work has two subjects: filmmaker Olga Nakkas’ ailing mother and the chaotic country where Nakkas was raised. Both fell sick in 1975, the onset of incurable depression for one and a bloody civil war ushering in deep divisions for the other. In this sequel to LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES (1994), Nakkas ponders the plight of the country she clearly loves while honoring the mother dear to her.

Her montage draws on conversations with Nakkas’ mother toward the end of life, along with footage of this beautiful, accomplished woman and ardent secularist in more physically robust times. Stunning scenes of tranquil Beirut and southern Lebanon contrast with close-ups of a nation under siege from within and abroad. Recent interviews with two longtime friends—a leftist teacher of philosophy in a Christian village school and a Shiite Muslim viewing Hezbollah as Lebanon’s only hope—raise crucial questions about the nation’s identity and precarious future.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Docudays Lebanon
  • Songes D’une Nuit Dv Paris
  • Ecrans Du Reel Beirut
  • Istanbul Docudays
  • Beirut Film Festival
  • Inter Media Spain

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QUOTES

    “In ‘Mother, Lebanon and Me’ Olga Nakkas pushes the envelope on the slogan that the personal is political. Nakkas documents her mother's last years, as well as Lebanon's recent political traumas. …The jarring transition from the very private space of the family, and the public and political landscape of Lebanon, enables Nakkas to provide pieces from the jigsaw puzzle that is Lebanon."
    Dorit Naaman
    Film Studies, Queens University

    "Recommended. Like the Middle East itself, Mother, Lebanon, and Me is a film of extreme contrasts and duality. It explains much as to why there seems to be no middle ground there and why eventual lasting peace is still a long way off."
    Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

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    Mother, Lebanon & Me is included in the following Special Collections.
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