Friday, January 25, 2008


Artificial Eye presents
Under The Bombs (cert TBC)
WINNER Premio EIUC Human Rights Film Award & ARCA Cinemagiovani Award
(ARCA Prize for Youths) - Venice Film Festival 2007
WINNER Gold Muhr Award - Dubai International Film Festival 2007

Nada Abou Farhat, Georges Khabbaz & Rawya El Chab
France, Lebanon, UK, Belgium / 2007 / 98 Mins / In Arabic with English Subtitles / Colour / 1.85

Opening at selected West End Venues
and selected cinemas nationwide
An Artificial Eye Release
Images are available on

For further information please contact:
Artificial Eye Film Company, 20 - 22 Stukeley Street London WC2B 5LR

The 2006 war in Lebanon comes to the cinema. UNDER THE BOMBS, which won the Premio EIUC Human Rights Film Award and ARCA Cinemagiovani Award at the 64th Venice Film Festival, is not only a film on the war but also a film inside the war. Shot during the Israeli bombing of the south of the country, the film by Philippe Aractingi is a documentary, a love story, a work of civil commitment and is the first testimony of the latest Lebanese conflict to be taken to the big screen. The film is almost an experiment; it was started without producers, without a script, only with some scenes shot in the summer of 2006, and has become a documentary of 90 minutes where fiction melds with reality.
Zeina is a Lebanese woman in the middle of a divorce. In order to spare her son, Karim, she sends him to stay with her sister in a little village in the South of Lebanon. One week later, the war breaks out in Lebanon. Terribly worried, she goes to Lebanon to find them, but only one taxi-driver, Toni, agrees to drive her to the South. Zeina and Toni are far from sharing the same political views - he is Christian and she is a Shiite,
but they drive south together, into a landscape devastated by bombs. When they finally reach the house of Zeina’s sister, they realize they are too late: it has been hit, and only a pile of rubble remains. Zeina’s sister is dead. Ali, a kid from the village, comes forward to tell them that her son Karim is safe but has left the village. So begins Zeina and Tony’s search for her son with devastating results….
"In the beginning we shot only material on the war, then we found producers and then we wrote a script with the actors working together with ordinary people whom they met on the streets while we were filming
"The entire work on the film, from the search for producers to post production, lasted only one year…I was so angry about the umpteenth conflict which brought destruction and death to my country that I shot the entire material from an instinct which was pushing me to say something in a hurry.
"I wanted to make a film about the war and the only way for me to do that was to use reality "
• Philippe Aractingi.

Of Franco-Lebanese origin, Philippe Aractingi was born in 1964 in Beirut where he grew up. He has made more than 40 films, around the world, ranging from reports and documentaries to more personal films. Self taught and a humanist, Philippe Aractingi spent 12 years in France before returning to his native Lebanon to make BOSTA, the country’s first post war musical. BOSTA, a huge success in Lebanon and all over the Arab world, has been released in over twenty countries. It was selected to represent Lebanon at the 2006 Oscars Academy Award. In July 2006, as war once again ravaged his country, Philippe Aractingi reacted, in the heat of the moment, by shooting his second feature film: UNDER THE BOMBS.

Bloody Lebanon recap

can anyone make any sense out of this ?
Dec 12 - Car bomb kills Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj, the army's head of operations, and a bodyguard in a Christian town east of Beirut. He had been tipped to become the next army chief.

Jan 15, 2008 - A car bomb attack in a Christian area of Beirut kills at least three people and wounds 16, in an explosion that damaged a U.S. embassy car and destroyed others.

Jan 25 - Wisam Eid, a captain in a Lebanese police intelligence unit, is killed in a bomb explosion in mainly Christian east Beirut. At least five other people die in the attack. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

June 13 (Reuters) - Lebanese anti-Syrian parliamentarian Walid Eido was killed with at least seven other people on Wednesday by a blast on Beirut's seafront, security sources said. Here is a chronology of some of the main events in Lebanon since former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed, along with 22 other people,

on Feb. 14, 2005. Feb. 16, 2005 - At least 150,000 Lebanese turn Hariri's funeral into outpouring of anger against Syria.

Feb. 28 - Pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami resigns.

March 5 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tells his parliament Syrian troops will start phased pullout from Lebanon.

April 26 - Last Syrian soldiers leave Lebanon.

June 2 - Samir Kassir, journalist opposed to Syria's role in Lebanon, is killed in Beirut by a bomb in his car.

June 16 - U.N. investigation into Hariri's killing starts.

June 19 - Lebanese parliamentary elections end in victory for anti-Syrian alliance led by Hariri's son Saad al-Hariri.

June 21 - Former Communist Party leader and critic of Syria George Hawi is killed in Beirut by a bomb in his car.

Oct. 20 - U.N. investigators say high-ranking Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies were involved in Hariri's killing, in report to U.N. Security Council. Syria denies it.

Dec. 12 - Gebran Tueni, anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate, is killed by a car bomb near Beirut.

July 12, 2006 - Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid, setting off 34-day war in which about 1,200 people in Lebanon and 158 Israelis are killed.

Nov. 11 - Five pro-Syrian Shi'ite Muslim ministers from Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal movement, resign after collapse of all-party talks on giving their camp more say in government.

Nov. 21 - Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel is killed by gunmen. U.N. Security Council approves plans for tribunal to try suspects in assassination of Hariri and subsequent attacks.

Dec. 1 - Hezbollah, Amal and supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun camp outside Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's office in central Beirut in open-ended campaign to topple government.

Jan. 25, 2007 - Aid conference in Paris pledges more than $7.6 billion to help Lebanon with its mountain of debt and to recover from the war.

Feb. 13 - Three people are killed in two bomb blasts near a Christian village northeast of Beirut. Lebanon says in March four Syrians confessed to the bombings and were members of Fatah al-Islam, a small Palestinian group linked to Syrian intelligence. The group deny involvement.

March 8/9 - Talks between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, also leader of the opposition Amal movement, and majority leader Saad al-Hariri to solve the four-month-old power struggle end without agreement.

May 17 - The United States, France and Britain circulate a draft U.N. resolution that would unilaterally establish a tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 Hariri murder.

May 20 - Lebanese troops battle Sunni Islamist militants based in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp killing at least 50 people.

June 12 - Heavy fighting continues to rage at the Nahr al-Bared camp during which at least 136 people, including 60 soldiers, have been killed since the battles started.

June 13 - Anti-Syrian parliamentarian Walid Eido is killed with at least seven other people in a blast on Beirut's seafont.
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