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Why Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki Has Been Filming Everything in Beirut Since the Blast

Nadine Labaki

Nadine Labaki. Photo: Instagram/@nadinelabaki

It has been nearly three months since the explosion that devasted Beirut, and those affected are still reeling from the tragedy. In light of the blast, many celebrities have stepped forward with their efforts to help the victims of the explosion which took place on August 4, and Lebanese director Nadine Labaki is no different.

The Oscar-nominated director has recently stated that since the blast on August 4, she has been constantly filming in Lebanon’s capital. As she attends the annual El Gouna Film Festival 2020, Labaki revealed to Variety that she has been “filming everything” since the explosion, and although she doesn’t “know where it’s going to lead, or if it will ever lead anywhere,” she needs to “capture what’s been happening.”

Despite the heartbreaking explosion caused by nearly three tons of neglected ammonium nitrate detonating in Beirut’s port, Labaki has remained hopeful. “Lebanon has always been functioning without a government. That is the only hope I still have of rebuilding the country,” she said. The Beirut blast has left a devasting impact on Lebanon, with countless lives lost and injured and thousands left without a home.

Whilst it is unclear what Labaki’s footage featuring Lebanon’s capital consists of, based on much of her previous work it can be expected to be a hard-hitting and exceptionally moving piece of cinema. Since the release of her debut film, Caramel in 2007, Labaki has catapulted to stardom with her impressive storytelling and poignant focus on social issues. Her most recent film, Capernaum shines an important light on Beirut’s challenging poverty. The 2018 film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, receiving international acclaim, winning the Jury Prize, and later went on to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards.

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