Archive of films The Valley / Al Wadi
Lebanon / France / Germany
2014, 134 min
Section: A Week of Lebanese Cinema
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.
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.
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).
About the film
|Section:||A Week of Lebanese Cinema|
|Dir. of Photography:||Bassem Fayad|
|Music:||Cynthia Zaven, Sharif Sehnaoui, Gya Kancheli, Cheb Ahmad Zergui, Joy Division|
|Coproduction:||Les Films d'Ici|
|Cast:||Carlos Chahine, Carole Abboud, Fadi Abi Samra|
|Sales:||Doc & Film International|