Halwani peels back the layers of Lebanese history one by one in search of the presence or absence of civil war victims.
Erased, ____ Ascent of the Invisible is an evocative investigation of how the past is constantly overflowing into the future. This debut film by Ghassan Halwani reflects on the thousands who disappeared during the Lebanese civil war and their ‘present absence’ in the lives of their loved ones.
In order to delve into this personal and politically-charged subject, Halwani (sometimes literally) scratches back the layers of Lebanese history and explores the topography of present-day Beirut. The deeper Halwani delves, the more we become aware of the dead, who are still present in the memories of those who loved them, under the pavements of gentrified neighbourhoods, and enmeshed in the fabric of society itself.
As a photographer-turned-illustrator, Halwani uses different media, such as photography, voice over, onscreen text and his own animations. The result is a contemplation on how atrocious violence – crimes against humanity – plays into ideas of martyrdom, creates national stories, and raises questions about the right to die.
Part of NORMAL SCHNORMAL, a multidisciplinary programme on normality and other deviations.
LB, 2018, 76’
English & Arabic spoken, English subtitles, starts every 90'