Birds of September remains one of the outstanding Arab documentaries so far this century (Middle East Eye)
Although Beirut looms over these people’s shoulders at all times, Birds of September represents an unexpected technical variation on the “city symphony.” ...By opting for slow, steady pans, Francis emphasizes her interviewees’ nostalgia, not the dynamism of the city they live in. (Film Comment)
Each element is only partially graspable – it’s possible to focus on the words, the face or the city behind them, but usually never all at once. At times it feels like tapping into Beirut’s unconscious, the streets and sky merging with anxieties about work, relationships and religion. (Movie Morlocks)
Francis’s anecdotal narrative allows for a formulation of social intrigue unique to this promising first film. (The L Magazine)
Content A glassed van roams the streets of Beirut, home to a camera that explores the city behind the glass. Along the way, several people are invited to share a personal moment in this moving confessional. Each one comes as a face, a body, a posture, a voice, an attitude, an emotion, a point of view, a memory. Their confessions are true, blunt, and intimate. However, soon enough, the van empties again, and roams Beirut; restlessly looking for something, for someone.
DVD-Info Sarah Francis, Lebanon/Qatar 2013, 99 min, Arabic Subtitles: English Synopsis, credits, director’s biography PAL, no regional code
Subjects City, Beirut, Loneliness, Architecture, Portrait, Urbanism, Soundscape, social, anthropological, Essay, Lebanon, City Symphony
Awards Best First Feature - International Mediterranean Film Festival Tétouan White Goose Award - Best Film at DMZ Documentary Film Festival South Korea Special Mention Pravo Ljudski Film Festival extra muros Competition Program Award Best Documentary Award - Silk Road Festival Dublin 'Mention Francois Barat' from 'Les rencontres cinematographiques de Cerbere/Portbou
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