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Lebanon in Freefall

Stay or go, give up or fight? The question is can Lebanon still be saved? The political and economic crisis in Lebanon started long before the devastating explosion on August 4, 2020, it was more the result of an accumulation of corruption through the decades that blew up that day. Ever since then, Lebanon has been in freefall. Young people in particular are asking whether or not they have a future there at all.

For many months now the Lebanese people have been seeking a shift in the regime as a result the government resigned at the end of 2019 after many protests, some of which were violent in nature, but the economic situation is still in freefall. The Lebanese currency is spiraling downwards and to add insult to injury the price of food is skyrocketing. Coronavirus infections are also rising dramatically.

So when the people of Lebanon saw the explosion in Beirut’s port area on August 4th of this year it was deemed to be just another example of political failure. The blast killed more than 170 people and saw 6,000 more injured, it is estimated to have caused $15 billion worth of damage. Government documents however reveal that the authorities were very aware of the dangers faced by the improper storage of the highly explosive ammonium nitrate.

In this film, we see a young couple Nour Bassam and her fiancé Hussein Achi fight for political change. Immediately after the explosion, Hussein and his organization, “Min Tishreen” set up an emergency aid center in the ruins of the Mar Michael district. The weight on Hussein’s shoulders is immense as we witness him not only distribute food, medicines and rebuild a destroyed city but also attempting to establish a new political culture in his homeland. As many of his friends are already deserting their country, will Hussein and his fiancé succeed in asserting themselves against their corrupt rulers?

Directed by: Daniel Böhm

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