The near and present danger of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon is the nerve-wracking backdrop to this expertly directed coming-of-age tale, centred on one boy’s all-consuming crush amidst the encroachment of war.
|Jul 29|| |
On the last day of school, heightened by end of term exams, 11-year-old Wissam has only one thing on his mind: to confess his feelings to classmate Joanna. Fumbling comically through love notes and best laid plans with his friend Majid belies the very real threat of war on the horizon. Wissam’s teacher Yesmine (Lebanese star Nadine Labaki, director of the Cannes-winning Capharnaüm) and the faculty try to keep a lid on their emotions and see out the day. But as radio reports grow grimmer, distant explosions edge closer and then the sudden, deafening roar of fighter jets drowns out everything, reality sets in and their attention turns to how to get the children to safety.
With an outstanding command of tension, director Oualid Mouaness – drawing on his own experience as a kid in Beirut – brings to life a collective memory of personal and political fear for civilians on the ground that fateful day. Unnerving sound design lends a knife-edge quality to even the stillest moments, while the film’s recreation of the surrealism of chaos, seen from both young and adult points of view, is riveting – and instantly relatable for anyone who knows the feeling, in times of panic and uncertainty, of wanting to get home.
About the Filmmaker
Oualid Mouaness is a Liberian-born producer, writer and director who grew up in Lebanon. His short film The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf, and the Boy was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2017. He has also produced music videos for David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Lana Del Rey and Justin Timberlake. 1982 is his feature debut as a director.