Shubbak: Tramontane (15*)
6.30pm / UK preview
9 July 2017
When blind young musician Rabih applies for a passport to go on tour with his choir, things begin to unravel unexpectedly – doubt is cast on whether his documents are real, setting into motion a quest for his true identity.
Director Vatche Boulghourjian subtly reflects Lebanon’s confused history – its 15-year civil war,
which stretched from the mid-70s till the early 90s, leaving in its wake
a legacy of mass displacements, unexplained disappearances and silenced
stories. As Rabih sets out for villages across Lebanon in search of the truth, we begin to understand the sheer magnitude of the layers of collective silence that permeate the country’s recent past.
In his first acting role, real-life musician Barakat Jabbour’s portrayal of Rabih’s drive and persistence is deeply moving, and his musical performances are magnetic and defiant. Boulghourjian’s poetic and sensitive debut, which premiered in Cannes’ Critics’ Week, is also a poignant reminder of the role of culture and storytelling in relaying truths and understanding the amnesia that surrounds complex histories – histories conveyed through Rabih’s voice and songs, which make up the film’s mesmerising score.
Lebanon 2016 Dir Vatche Boulghourjian 105 min