Beirut, once considered the “Paris of the Middle East,” is now picking up the pieces from a devastating 15-year civil war. What used to be a thriving port city where a variety of religions and ethnicities could convene in peace has become a land torn apart by factions. Dutch director Jack Janssen’s rich tapestry weaves together several Beirut denizens who have survived their country’s recent troubled past.
Though they are all different in their confusion, anger and loss, one powerful common thread ties them together: the enchanting, mystical voice of Fairuz. The most famous singer, and arguably the most popular cultural icon, of the Arab world, Fairuz is looked upon as a symbol of unity, hope and beauty. Her songs greet Beirut first thing in the morning on the radio, her voice wafting through prison bars, restaurants, car windows on busy streets and in the dorm rooms of young college students.
Stunning images of modern Beirut provide the backdrop for her simultaneously mournful and spirited melodies. In this unforgettable documentary, we come to understand that people once torn apart by differences can be held together by a single, undivided passion.
— Tessa Swigart
In Arabic with English subtitles. This film is competing for a Golden Gate Award. International Premiere.
Variety, Dennis Harvey
‘POETIC…FINDS HUMOR AND INDOMINABLE SPIRIT IN ITS SUBJECTS
The New York Times, Neil Macfarquhay
FAIRUZ HAS BECOME A LIVING ICON WITHOUT EQUAL
Martijn van Beenen
Pieter van Huystee
ICARUS FILMS, New York
8 May 2017