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Miguel’s War (15) + Screen Talk

SAFAR Film Festival

A person looks in the mirror with a pink feather boa in Miguel's War

This is the story of a gay man who grew up oppressed and shamed during the Lebanese civil war. Thirty-seven years after leaving Lebanon, Miguel feels ready to face his trauma and ghosts of his past.

Raised by a conservative Catholic father and an authoritarian Syrian mother, teenage Miguel was inhibited by a deep inferiority complex and was incapable of asserting himself. In 1983 the deeply sensitive boy, desperate to prove he "exists” and can act like “a real man” joined the fighting as part of an armed faction. But his experience was a failure. Traumatized he immigrates to Madrid, Spain, where he seeks to liberate himself through debauchery.

Using intertwining cinematic forms, melding documentary, animation, theatre and archive, and filmed on location in Lebanon and Spain, this feature film hopes to offer an experience of self-confrontation, awareness and catharsis.

Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award at the 2021 Berlinale. 

Lebanon/Germany/Spain 2021 Dir Eliane Raheb 128 min

In Arabic, Spanish, English, French with English subtitles

This title has been locally classified.

‘For Raheb, individual trauma doesn’t stand alone; by focusing on one person, the breadth of Lebanon’s troubled collective experience is uncovered, […] brought into the open for potential healing. ‘

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Barbican Cinema 2