LEBANON / Death of the director Jocelyne Saab

The Lebanese artist Jocelyne Saab died on January 7th in Paris. She was 70. Born in Beirut in April 1948, she studied economics in Paris. Back in Beirut, her career as a journalist began when she was hired by writer Etel Adnan to work on the newspaper Al Safa. She worked a lot as a war reporter, making documentary films about the conflicts in the Middle East (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon …).

In 1975 she produced and directed her first film, Le Liban dans la tourmente. Dealing with the war in Lebanon, it was censored in her own country, although it was broadcast in France. Etel Adnan said of the film: “This is an extraordinary film, it captures the Lebanese milieu which gave rise to this war like no document ever written or filmed about it.”

She continued to portray the Lebanese conflict and its consequences in a triptych: Beyrouth, jamais plus (1976), Lettre de Beyrouth (1978) and Beyrouth ma ville (1982).

A few years later, in 1985, she turned to fictional cinema, making L’adolescente sucre d’amour / Une vie suspendue. Shown during the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, the film is a love story set in war-torn Beirut. Jocelyne Saab made three other drama films, including Dunia in 2005, causing uproar in Egypt because its subject is female excision.

In 2013 she created the Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon, which for three years took place in various towns around the country (Tripoli, Zaleh, Tyre and Beirut). A major figure of the new Lebanese cinema, Jocelyne Saab was also a photographer and visual artist. Her works have been exhibited all over the world (Brussels, Singapore, Paris, Istanbul). In June 2018 Macam, the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Alita (Lebanon), put on a retrospective of her work as photographer and videographer.

Sources: https://libnanews.com,https://www.lorientlejour.com, http://kapitalis.com

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