DIARIES FROM LEBANON enjoying rave reviews across the board

01 March 2024
“In the beginning, I didn’t know the country was collapsing. I understood that only later. What I knew was that I was making a film about three characters, out of which at least two — the women — are fighting to survive and to make a change, and they keep on dreaming about this change. That’s the strength of the film,” said Myriam El Hajj in an interview with Cineuropa about her latest critical hit, DIARIES FROM LEBANON. 
The docudrama generated quite the buzz recently, getting high applause from regional and international news outlets and prompting readers and movie enthusiasts to eagerly await the next chapter of its festival after its resoundingly successful world premiere at the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival. 
On the international level, critics were very impressed and captivated by El Hajj’s compelling and brilliant presentation of the current state of affairs in Lebanon. Suffice it to say that renowned film critic Jay Wissberg described the film as “a defiant documentary tracing the country’s ups and downs since 2018.” 
Meanwhile, Marc van de Klashorst of the International Cinephile Society called it “raw and honest,” while Gabriele Ottaviani from Convenzionali recommended it to all readers and said it was “not to be missed for any reason.”
On another front, regional news outlets were also quick to discuss the documentary with a noticeable fervor, with Egypt’s Al Qahera News posting an interview with the director in which they peeled back the film’s many layers.
“There are many messages DIARIES OF LEBANON is trying to get across, the most notable of which is the dream of change and holding on to our dreams no matter how difficult the circumstances are,” El Hajj said in the interview. 
Starting its festival tour with a bang, Myriam El Hajj’s DIARIES FROM LEBANON gained tremendous popularity throughout its screenings as part of the Panorama Section of the recently concluded 74th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), receiving largely favorable reviews and captivating audiences with its compelling narrative and visually striking aesthetics. 
Boasting several standing ovations and five full-house screenings, the film received high praise from the festival’s attendees, who were only too eager to engage in the post-screening Q&A sessions and express how much they loved the documentary’s organic storytelling and emotional resonance. 
Building on its impressive success at the Berlinale, DIARIES FROM LEBANON is slated to screen at further upcoming festivals soon.
The docudrama takes place in Lebanon, where, in the form of diaries, the filmmaker narrates four tumultuous years of a nation in turmoil, battling to break free from its own chains. 
As the country is shaken by disruptions, personal quests for meaning and survival unfold. How can we continue to dream when the world around us is collapsing?
DIARIES FROM LEBANON was written, directed, and co-lensed by El Hajj alongside Jihad Saadé and Mohamed Siam, produced by Sassine of Abbout Productions and Ruszniewski of GoGoGo Films, and edited by Anita Perez and Stéphanie Sicard. The documentary features author and activist Joumana Haddad, Lebanese war veteran Georges Moufarej, and artist and activist Perla Joe Maalouli.
Myriam El Hajj is a Lebanese filmmaker whose first feature-length documentary, A TIME TO REST, premiered at Visions du Réel-Nyon in 2015 and screened at several international festivals, winning multiple awards. 
She teaches cinema at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and is a member of several film commissions, including the CNC and Doha Film Institute. She’s also a founding member of Rawiyat - Sisters in Film — a collective of women filmmakers from the Arab World and the diaspora.