KHIAM

  • Lebanon
  • 2007

Three women and three men do memory work and recall their lives during the years they spent in the Khiam detention and torture center in southern Lebanon, which was occupied by the Israeli army until the year 2000. In a first encounter with the directing duo (1999-2000), they talk head-on to the camera about the sometimes trivial and yet essential details of their everyday lives, about the passing of time and despair, but also about the life-sustaining impulses that led them to impressive forms of solidarity and resistance. They made decorative objects, jewelry and necklaces out of almost nothing - creative gestures, imaginary escape routes from a structure of humiliation that had gotten out of control. At a second meeting in 2007, after visiting the disused prison, the ex-inmates categorize their experiences and reflect on what they had been through.

The approach chosen by Hadjithomas and Joreige is of considerable human and political significance. The intelligent structure and the moving presence of the victims lend the testimonies the dimension of a collective trauma: these voices, these faces forever represent the wounded but dignified conscience of an entire country, an entire humanity.

Pepe

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