WAVES’ 98 / 15 minute Short film
Disillusioned with his life in the suburbs of segregated Beirut, Omar’s discovery lures him into the depths of the city. Immersed into a world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality that he eventually finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home.
Set between Beirut’s post-war climate of recovery in the 90’s and today’s general sense of crumbling this is Omar’s story. Growing up in Beirut’s suburbs meant that Omar spent his entire teenage years living on the outskirts, having never visited parts of the segregated city or even crossed its borders. His daily life is dominated by the mundane, his parents’ financial problems, and a certain lack of motivation; his only escape being the time he spends gazing at the city from his school’s rooftop. Until, On a cold winter day, Omar unexpectedly witnesses something strange and beautiful. A sort of intense beaming light, shining through the grayness of the city’s landscape, that lures him to venture into the depth of the city. This giant discovery leads him to explore and immerse himself in a world he never knew existed. A world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality that Omar finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home…
Waves ’98 won the top prize at the Cannes film Festival, the Palm D’Or in the short film category.
Duration: 14′ 50”
Screening Format: DCP
Original Language: Arabic
Waves ’98 is as much a narrative film as it is a personal visual essay dedicated to Dagher’s hometown, Beirut.
The film is an artistic exploration of the director’s current relation with his Lebanon, his home country, projected through the story of a teenager and set in 1998. Since moving abroad to study and work, Ely Dagher has been spending more and more time outside of Lebanon, and his attachment to Beirut Started to become more and more complicated. The overall Narrative of the film is heavily based on Ely’s efforts to understand his changing relationship with the city and it’s life, juxtaposed with the narrative of a teenager’s exciting discovery of this segregated city.