A day when Lebanese director Mona Aql met in preparation for her first film (Costa Brava, Lebanon) as an act of protest and a way of survival after the Beirut explosion began working in the capital.
“Lebanon is going through a very difficult period, and this film is a love letter to Beirut,” said Mona, 32, at the Venice Film Festival.
She continued, “The events of the film revolve around the mountains, but it’s entirely about Beirut … the struggle for a safe place, no longer about the misery of a place, and the question of whether you are leaving or continuing.”
The film, set against the backdrop of an environmental and economic crisis, depicts the life of the Badri family, who lived in the mountains to escape polluted air and other problems in Beirut. Isolated parents in this safe haven feel guilty for abandoning their roots to protect their daughters’ future. At that time, a rubbish bin is suddenly set up in front of their house, and the accumulation of rubbish increases the tension in the family.
The worst period in our history
Famous Lebanese director Nadine Labaki plays the mother and Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri plays the father. Although the mother feels nostalgic for the old life, she feels bitterness and anger.
“Personally, I live with my family almost like the Badri family. We live in the mountains not far from Beirut,” Nadine said. “I live in the same conflict and the same conflict, do we isolate and protect our family and children this way, or do we go back and oppose in some way?
Nadine, 47, says it is important to show the film as part of the Orisonde Extra section at the Venice Film Festival.
She continued, “We are at the worst moment in our history … this is the worst. Half of the Lebanese people live below the poverty line without fuel, electricity or medicine … so I think I ‘m here now and offering the film and having some sort of smile and It is a miracle that we are happy with what we have done.It is a miracle in all accounts.
“Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic.”