Monday, April 24, 2006

al Bosta [the bus]

I saw al "Bosta" tonight!

You know, at first I thought that in some instances the colors and the set design were exaggerated. Actually, in general, the movie is vivid and abundant in meaning, insinuations and analogies. Because it is musical, I sort of dreaded the fall into the Bollywood trap, but then again, there are too many stories to tell! We have too many things to say; I would have done the same. This movie is defying and defining Lebanese Cinema. The Director (Philippe Aractinji) must have had many dilemmas while editing his ideas... It is ok! He is trying as we all are and should! We did not yet reconcile with our past in order to go on. This is a step; the one that comes after would surely be more refined. The next one will surely be more sophisticated while better structured as per the words of Kobena Mercer.The music was nice, the Landscape sublime, the photography fantastic, and the acting was great. It triggers good feelings of nostalgia, especially when I sat with many of these actors on the same steps of the same university at the same time. It brought back many memories and rich souvenirs. I thought that it was both brain filling and heart touching... A wonderful movie.

If it is "remembered" that the war [the events] started with a bus, why not re-live it and maybe try to end it with a bus! Take the bus and tour Lebanon with it!

On another note...and that is just for my own healing and learning...There were some instances in the movie where I felt uncomfortable. Like for example, the two scenes where we see a herd of goats... At the beginning in a pick-up truck and then when they journeyed through the villages. To my mind, you don't see this scene very often (I lived in cities as well as in rural settings), and therefore two appearances were a bit too much for one movie. Why was I even compelled and forced to doubt whether it was a real life depiction, or a construct? Maybe it is true to the representation and maybe it is not... that is not the point. Was I ashamed of what the "foreigners" would say (the notorious Lebanese paranoia)? I was proud of the movie to the point that I was eager to show it off, while at the same time, I wanted to dissimulate and attenuate a reality that still exists in my "urban" world... A reality that is now reminiscent to the uncivilized, the primitive and the old. I instinctively and subconsciously decided to archive the traditional, the genuine and the "classic" in oblivion!"beyn ba3edna meche el 7al! bass mech eddem el ajenib!" (Not in front of the "foreigners").

Too bad I am such a hypocrite! Too bad for my sake.

Kamal is, in the end, every Lebanese that left, saw, lived and experienced something else, and then came back home looking. Digging the hurtful past while others who stayed behind, tried to forget and go on, is not a very welcomed attitude... And often, it is countered with hatred, sarcasm and belittling. Like the accusation that Kamal does not care, or the insinuation to the fact that he left and they stayed behind, therefore they are more Lebanese than he is and are entitled more to decide how to deal with Lebanese memory, history and identity...

It is not easy, looking the beast in the eyes and then walking away. But we have to reconcile our past in order to move on. Our generation did start the war... But we lived it... We had to suffer its consequences. The wound is still open, fragile and apparent. It is time to ponder upon it, understand it, make peace with it... And move on!

remember/bleed, understand/heal, debate...and move on; always with a glance to your past... respect it, understand it and learn from it... it could easily come back to haunt you!



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