Fri 11/10 19:00
Martyr (Opening film)
Dir. Mazen Khaled | 84 min | 2017 | Fiction
Lebanon | Arabic with Eng subs
Premiere: 74th Venice International Film Festival
The strange drowning of a young man at Beirut’s seaside sparks a mob funeral and causes his friends, who hail from different communities, to grapple with loss and with the struggle to participate in his community’s rites and ceremonies. The life and death journey that the young man takes on the last day of his life exposes the schisms of the city and the fault lines dividing its society, and reveals some of the forces pushing the lives of those marginalized young men. In Islamic tradition, drowning is considered grounds for Martyrdom. What does that word really mean? Is it an effort to console a bereaved family and preclude its grief? Is it an empty attempt by a marginalized group to evoke heroism and mythology in order to compensate in death for what they never achieved in life? In this film, raw verité images intermingle with abstract scenes to present us with a world where the lines separating reality from fiction, authenticity from fabrication, have ceased to exist.
Mazen Khaled was born in Beirut, Lebanon. After a period spent in policy analysis and research, he moved to Advertising where he wrote and directed TV ads as part of his work as creative director. He is also one of the founders of EXIST, an arts collective in Beirut. "Martyr" is his second feature film.