Archive of films Out of Life / Hors la vie
Belgium / France / Italy
1991, 97 min
Section: A Week of Lebanese Cinema
A suspenseful drama based on the actual experiences of a French photographer kidnapped and held for nearly a year during Lebanon's Civil War. Jury prize (ex aequo) at the 1991 festival in Cannes.
“Time, this old enemy, gnaws at the traces of our passage on earth; exempted from this are the creators. Maroun, you will live” – thus did Gilles Jacob, legendary head of the Cannes festival, enthuse over the rich work of the prematurely deceased Lebanese filmmaker. In his best-known movie, Bagdadi takes up the true story of French journalist Roger Auque, who was kidnapped by Hezbollah and held for ransom for a year. The suspenseful drama depicts his everyday struggle to survive and his dogged efforts to maintain his sanity after being suddenly deprived of freedom as Beirut is turned upside down by civil war. Noteworthy is the picture’s highly original and complex characterization of his jailers, men who represent the captive man’s lone contact with the so-called normal world. One of the guards’ more memorable lines rings depressingly true: “This is Lebanon, man, don’t trust your eyes; things are never the way they look. There’s always a snake behind the rock.”
About the director
Maroun Bagdadi (1950–1993), one of the most highly-renowned directors in the history of Lebanese film, enjoyed a creative period that covered almost precisely the same span as the Civil War, a topic investigated in his work. He studied political science and law in his native Beirut, later moving to France where he graduated from Paris’s IDHEC film school. Bagdadi worked for a time with Francis Ford Coppola and shot movies in French that brought him fame in the land of the Gallic rooster. His films Little Wars (Les petites guerres, 1982) and Out of Life (Hors la vie, 1991) screened at the Cannes festival, with the latter receiving the Jury Prize (ex aequo).
About the film
|Section:||A Week of Lebanese Cinema|
|Screenplay:||Maroun Bagdadi, Didier Decoin, Elias Khoury|
|Dir. of Photography:||Patrick Blossier|
|Art Director:||Dan Weil|
|Producer:||Mario Gallo, Enzo Giulioli, Jacques Perrin|
|Cast:||Hippolyte Girardot, Rafic Ali Ahmad, Hussein Sbeity, Habib Hammoud, Majdi Machmouchi|
Service Company Rep., Distributor