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DIARIES FROM LEBANON world premieres at 74th Berlinale to warm reception

20 February 2024
Myriam El Hajj’s Lebanese feature-length documentary DIARIES FROM LEBANON recently held its world premiere at the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), where it was received with warm praise and a standing ovation from the audiences, celebrities, and media personnel in attendance.
 
The premiere was also attended by director Myriam El Hajj; producers Myriam Sassine and Carine Ruszniewski; Lebanese author, journalist, and human rights activist Joumana Haddad; Lebanese artist and activist Perla Joe Maalouli; and Co-Founders of the worldwide sales agent MAD Solutions Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab.
 
The film received several stellar reviews from several critics and media personnel after its premiere, with Malik Berkati of J:mag Switzerland saying, “Despite the limited resources and filming challenges, the film manages to portray, in a very organic and well-embodied way, the despair of a young generation and those who want to change the system.”
 
Meanwhile, Mahari Seghid of African Refugees News lauded the documentary for being “very useful to understand the real socio-political situation in Lebanon, or in this case Beirut.”
Finally, Lida Bach of MovieBreak praised the film for its “threefold focus on different persons, each with a different emotional connection to the ongoing protests [which] made for an unusual but therefore all the more interesting perspective, foreshadowing the repetition of the past in an uncertain future.”
 
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.
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