Archive of films The Valley / Al Wadi

Lebanon / France / Germany
2014, 134 min

Section: A Week of Lebanese Cinema
Year: 2015

An unknown man survives a car accident in the middle of the Bekaa Valley with just a few scratches and the loss of his memory. Soon after he meets a group of people who take him to a closely guarded farm. This complex, disturbing mystery, conveying its own message on the state of civilization, is so far the most ambitious picture by the renowned Lebanese director.


Synopsis

An unknown man survives a car accident in the middle of the Bekaa Valley with just a few scratches and the loss of his memory. Soon after, he meets a group of people who take him to a closely guarded farm. It’s a mysterious place where the inhabitants spend time on more than just farming, a place from which the unnamed protagonist may never be able to leave. This complex, disturbing mystery, conveying a message on the state of civilization, is so far the most ambitious picture by the renowned Lebanese director – a film intellectual who vividly succeeds in transmitting psychological categories into cinematic language. In the case of The Valley this concerns the intense feeling of menace hanging over a place of possible annihilation such as the site of the auto accident, and the farm as an epicenter of vegetation, but it also involves the man’s confinement and, last but not least, the threat oppressing the entire region, which includes the director’s homeland. “Beirut has been erased,” announces a voice over the radio as the movie draws to a close. An experience of distress and uncertainty, of paralyzing fear that suddenly starts to become tangible.

Karel Och

About the director

Ghassan Salhab (b. 1958, Dakar, Senegal), Lebanese screenwriter and director, works in France and Lebanon, where he lectures in film. In addition to numerous shorts, he has also made six features: Phantom Beirut (Beyrouth fantôme, 1998), Terra incognita (2002), The Last Man (Le dernier homme, 2006), 1958 (2009), The Mountain (La montagne, 2011) and The Valley (Al Wadi, 2014). He has published articles in various magazines and is author of the book Fragments du Livre du naufrage (2012).

Contacts

Doc & Film International
13, rue Portefoin, 750 03, Paris
France
Tel: +33 142 775 687
Fax: +33 142 773 656
E-mail: h.horner@docandfilm.com
www: www.docandfilm.com

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: A Week of Lebanese Cinema
   
Director: Ghassan Salhab
Screenplay: Ghassan Salhab
Dir. of Photography: Bassem Fayad
Music: Cynthia Zaven, Sharif Sehnaoui, Gya Kancheli, Cheb Ahmad Zergui, Joy Division
Editor: Michèle Tyan
Producer: Georges Schoucair
Production: Abbout Productions
Coproduction: Les Films d'Ici
Cast: Carlos Chahine, Carole Abboud, Fadi Abi Samra
Sales: Doc & Film International

Guests

Hannah Horner

Sales Agent

Georges Schoucair

Producer


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