ARABIAN SIGHTS, CIRCLE AWARD

1982

OUALID MOUANESS
Lebanon, USA, Norway, Qatar, 2019
100 minutes, Color
Official website

In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon, which was already reeling from its ongoing civil war. At a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, as the geopolitical conflict inches closer and closer, 11-year-old Wissam is more intent on finding the courage to tell his classmate that he loves her. For a dreamer like Wissam, who is more likely to be drawing than playing football, it's hard to comprehend the gravity of the impending violence. But for his teachers, Yesmine (Nadine Labaki) and Joseph, the jets in the sky signal something greater. As the teachers try to mask their growing fears for the sake of the students, they also attempt to hide the fractures in their relationship, as they fall on different sides of the political divide.—Toronto International Film Festival

In Arabic and English with English subtitles

Director's Statement

It is a pleasure and an honor to be sharing the film with you, especially in these polarizing times we live in.

We must never forget history. We have to observe it with a judicious eye and try to be impartial in how we represent it in the hopes that people of different sides of divides can be brought closer together. With 1982 I aimed to bridge the schisms of Lebanese society without judgement and let our human need to communicate supersede the politics that divide us. It is the first and only film to date that addresses such a polemic time in Lebanese history.

As filmmakers and artists, I feel it is necessary and we are blessed with the responsibility for us to find a conduit to move the conversation forward, hopefully to better understanding the dimensions of our humanity, on personal, political, and social levels.

Thank you for inviting us to communicate about this film.

Oualid Mouaness
Director of 1982


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Middle East Institute

Q&A with director Oualid Mouaness, interviewed by Herbert Niles