“About a War” – Film Screening followed by Q&A session
Documentary Screening and Q&A with the Directors
31 October 2018 | Bath | 14:15 – 16:30
This is the launch screening of “About a War”, a documentary film by Daniele Rugo and Abi Weaver, that moves through personal testimonies to build a multi perspective picture of motivations, trauma and regret following the Lebanese civil war.
The screening, which is funded by the Politics of Culture and Memory Cluster in PoLIS will be followed by a Q&A session with the directors at Chancellors’ Building (University of Bath) on Wednesday 31 October.
Through rare archive footage and personal accounts of ex-fighters from the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), this character driven documentary explores the tensions between individual choice and sectarian violence in the Middle East.
The Lebanese Civil War saw 170,000 dead, 1 million displaced and 17,000 people still missing. During the conflict thousands of teenagers picked up arms to fight in a 15 years war that tore the nation apart. In 1990, the Taif agreement brought the war to a close, integrating warring parties into a power sharing government. With an amnesty pardoning all crimes against civilians and no plans to reintegrate militiamen back into society, many fighters became anonymous, silent and were left to disappear into a society ravaged by internal strife.
Moving though the testimonies of Assad, Nassim and Ahed – who were teenagers during the Lebanese Civil War- About a War unpicks the personal motivations, trauma and regret of militiamen who picked up arms during the civil war.
With no official account of the conflict, their testimonies build a multi-‐perspective picture of a crucial turning point in Lebanese history that radically transformed the Middle East.
From Shatila Refugee Camp and reconstructed Tel-el-Zaatar through to accounts of the siege of Beirut, the ex-fighters reflect on their recruitment into militias and how they used violence in a bid for social change. While they continue to struggle with the trauma of their experiences, they are nowadays dedicated to campaigning for conflict prevention and also stand as a cautionary tale for a country that continues to be marred by inequality and sectarian divide.
The film was funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council Grant through the Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research.