Around The Pink HouseAl bayt al Zahr
- Story lineBeirut is under reconstruction. A surprising pink palace is threaten of being destroyed to be replaced by a commercial centre. This ambitious project divides the neighborhood. As the personal stories of those living in the pink house unveil, the wounds and dreams of a strange postwar period appear.
- SynopsisThe story of the pink house is quite strange. Built in the popular district of Matba’a, (a fictive area), it was abandoned at the beginning of the war, hit by many shells and greatly damaged. Nowadays, two families who fled their villages have settled there illegally: The Adaimi’s and the Nawfal’s.
But the war is over. The country is going through an economic boom; the old shell-poked buildings are being turned down to make way for a large reconstruction program. The arrival of Mattar, the new owner, surprises both families and arouses great curiosity. He tells them he intends to keep the façade of the house but will remodel the inside into a commercial center. He gives them ten days to move out. This event divides the district and little by little, two groups are formed and soon clash. On the one side, those who favor reconstruction and the economic boom, with all the potential benefits for the area. On the other, the two families and their friends who feel rejected, having to start all over somewhere else.
The district soon resembles a battlefield: the mechanisms of exclusion, justification and fanaticism start working. Resistance (in the form of petitions, conciliation, intimidation) and opposition (food boycott, rumors, dividing lines) develop under the indiscreet eye of the reporter Daniel’s camera.
In this setting of tensions and crazy situations, each inhabitant lives his own tragedy, often verging on the absurd or the comical. The house is the distorting mirror of a kind of reality: that of its inhabitants, of the district, of the country. Each one finds his memories or loses them when facing the ruins of the “after-war” and those of the pink house.
- ProductionTitle in arabic : Al bayt al Zahr A film by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige A French, Canadian and Lebanese production
Produced byMille et une productions Anne-Cécile Berthomeau & Edouard Mauriat
Co producerLes Ateliers du Cinéma Québécois – Jean Dansereau
With the participation ofCanal plus (France),Canal Horizons Ministère Français de la Culture Agence de la Francophonie – ACCT Ministrère des Affaires étrangères (France) Fonds Sud Infi Gamma Holding – SAL (Liban) SODEC Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles -Québec Programme de crédit d’impôt (Québec) Programme de crédit d’impôt fédéral (Ottawa) Djinn House Productions Lebanese Ministery of culture SOURCES a initiative of the european program MEDIA
CastHanane Abboud, Fadi Abi Samra, Asma-Maria Andraos, Nabil Assaf, Tony Balaban, Issam Bou Khaled, Joseph Bou Nassar, Nicolas Daniel, Chadi el Zein, Hassan Fahrat, Zeid Hamdan, Raymond Hosni, Georges Kehdy, Maurice Maalouf, Tony Maalouf, Majdi Machmouchi, Hassan Mrad, Nicolas Mrad, Rabih Mroué, Zeina Saab de Meleiro, Mireille Safa, Ziad Said, Nagy Sourati, Gabriel Yamine
Director of photography Pierre David Sound Ludovic Hénaullt Decors Frederic Benard Art director Sophie Khayat Editing Tina Baz Le Gall Executive producer Djinn House Productions Music Robert M. Lepage Time 92 minutes Format 35mm color 1.85 – Dolby SR Original Language Arabic (French English subtitle)
- Directors note