THE ONE MAN VILLAGE (SEMAAN BIL DA'YIA)
Lebanon 2008 – Director: Simon El Habre – Original language: arabic – Subtitles: english
Semaan el-Habre is the only inhabitant of a Christian mountain village from which everybody fled during Lebanon’s long-lasting civil war (1975-1990). Before the war, Ain el-Halazoun was home to 45 households, whose inhabitants were all part of the el-Habre family. Now, the family is scattered in different directions: some live in Beirut, others in surrounding villages. Only the elder generation returns to the hamlet regularly to work on their land and harvest jujube dates and olives. But they all leave again at sunset.
Semaan is content with his bachelor life, pursuing his everyday routine, accompanied only by his cows and horses, his chicken, cats and dogs. He enjoys the peace and quiet and strongly opposes his nephew Samir’s view that "life is a battle". The expressive faces of the el-Habre family resemble the devastated landscape that surrounds them. Their glances reveal unspoken trauma and the calm joys of hope, hidden memories and an unspeakable pain that has been repressed for far too long. "It's a documentary on memory, how it affects the human beings' daily life, especially when memory is related to war and massacres." Simon El Habre
English/Original Title: The One Man Village. Writer: Simon El Habre. Camera: Bassem Fayad, Marc Karam. Sound: Chadi Roukoz. Editing: Simon El Habre. Production: Beirut DC. Producer: Simon El Habre, Jad Abi-Khalil, Irit Neidhardt. Length: 86 min. International Sales: mec film (Berliner Büro). Distribution: mec film