In the summer of 2020, a huge blast in the port of Beirut killed 218 people, injured more than 7,500 and destroyed half of the city. It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and it shocked the world. The blast is the starting point of a film that explores the hopes and dreams of a generation born during and immediately after Lebanon's civil war (1975-1990). In Lebanon: Explosion Of Anger, journalists, artists, and political activists reveal the dreams of young Lebanese who took to the streets to protest in 2019.
Beirut is the most open and cosmopolitan city of the Levant, often called the 'Paris of the Orient', a city of massive social contrasts and opportunities. A walk with Ronnie Chatah, a tour guide and storyteller, is a trip deep into a city's history. His father, Mohamad, a former Minister of Finance and Lebanese ambassador to the US, was a victim of political assassination and is now buried in a city square.
Today, Lebanon is a country where some victims' families seek revenge. Where the scream of the young for change gets louder and louder. Revolution and violence may be around the corner.
The screening will be followed by a 30 minute Q&A.
Vanessa Bowles is a London-based Lebanese documentary director & producer. She has produced a number of award-winning documentary and current affairs films focused on the Middle East, including Once Upon a Time in Iraq, which won a Bafta, and Royal Television Society award amongst others, Bin Laden: The Road to 9/11, House of Saud: A Family at War, and others.
She is currently directing a film for BBC Arabic, and producing a 7-part podcast series that she is also co-hosting for Audible.
Ronnie Chatah is the host of The Beirut Banyan podcast, a series of storytelling episodes and long form conversations that reflect on all that is modern Lebanese history. He leads the WalkBeirut tour, a four-hour narration of Beirut’s rich and troubled past - the tour has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal and the BBC. Ronnie also writes a weekly opinion column for NOWLebanon. He will be joining online from Beirut.