A feature documentary that represents the culmination of a 2 years AHRC funded research project on the impact of the Lebanese Civil War and contributes to a novel understanding of the impact of conflict on societies affected by violence.
Reserve for an output with double weighting
The project addressed the Lebanese Civil War’s long-term impacts on the infrastructure of Beirut and its people by interrogating experiences of ex-fighters who turned the city into a weapon. The research is intended as an exploration of ‘testimony’ as a cornerstone of documentary film. The team conducted several interviews with militiamen, which framed the narrativization of their memories and offered a reflection on so-called perpetrator films.
Interdisciplinary methodology combining film practice, STS and sociology. The team visited sites, interviewed parties involved in fighting and conducted observational filming with participants. The film brings together ex-fighters from different sides to trigger conversations around the Civil War and to engage young people at risk or involved in conflict. The film uses the past to address current issues, including recruitment of young people into armed groups and the unresolved heritage of violence. The research found that the silence over the Civil War produced by state-enforced amnesia has left unresolved trauma and tensions that fuel new outbursts of violence. The film is being used by Lebanese NGOs as a peace-building and conflict prevention tool. The film has become an educational tool and is being used by teachers in schools.
Public screenings in cinemas, think tanks and Universities. Media coverage includes articles in The National (UAE), Arab News, Daily Star, The New Arab, Middle East Monitor, Curzon Blog. The screenings have been paired with filmmakers Q&As and co-delivered with peace-building NGOs. The film is available online (Vimeo) and the American distributor is working on a DVD. The project was funded by the AHRC and GCRF through the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research.