It’s day 3 of my 3rd week without my laptop. I’m ok with it so far, in fact I’m feeling better. The laptop repair is done but I’m just waiting for my friend to give it back to me. I hope I don’t get back to my old head-glued-to-the-laptop-till-after-midnight routine. I’ll have to work on this.
Apart from that, Lebanese movies are rocking the theaters.
If you watch TV you’ll find that there are around 3-4 movies. This started last year with Nadine Labaki’s hit movie “Where Do We Go Now” but no one has yet been able to dethrone her, yet some were able to cause some controversy. I’m referring here to Joe Bou Eid’s new movie “Tannoura Maxi” that has been taking mixed reviews from the Lebanese audience. The movie was released some two weeks ago. The publicity and branding that surrounded the movie before the release were huge, but it was rumored that it’s only because it would not gather much audience as anticipated. People did watch the movie, and were it a valid policy here, some would claim a refund. Other liked it and went well with the story of Joe’s parents and how they met during the times of war in Lebanon.
Out of the whole movie, which I didn’t watch yet, a certain TV presenter decided to make a fuzz about one scene. He decided to go all religious on that particular scene where the priest-to-be, Joe’s father, is fighting temptation that a beautiful strange girl, Joe’s mother, who came to the village had caused to him. The scene is expressed by a dance at the church. The presenter is claiming that the scene is obscene and erotic and it shouldn’t be allowed because of it distorts the image of the church and clergy. I will not be attacking the presenter, who also didn’t watch the movie. And I won’t be defending it either. Not until I watch it and see for myself how offending it is.
The movie might very offending, but so is lots of other things. Let’s talk first about things that took place in Lebanese movies first. How come no one said a word about Labaki’s movie being offending? (I read a few, but they didn’t cause a stir) Why wasn’t anyone offended by Muslims smashing the statue of Virgin Mary? Why wasn’t anyone offended by mocking her? Why wasn’t anyone offended by having goats in the mosque chewing on holy books? Why didn’t the clergy men get offended by the runaway priest and sheikh who accompanied the Ukrainian girls? Why wasn’t anyone offended by having women changing their religion and being rebellious?
All these questions came to my mind, why this and not that? Why is Nadine Labaki about to replace the cedar tree on the flag and Joe is getting all this opposition. I still don’t know how much he deserves to be opposed but it shouldn’t be this way. From the review I read, the movie has technical errors (which lots of Hollywood movies have, but still not an excuse) and the story is a bit loose. Well, if its a bad movie, give it a low rating and move on.
To me, cinema isn’t about idealism. It’s not an outlet to preach. It’s for expressing ideas and thoughts. It’s a way of expression just like painting, theater, books, graffiti,… It represents and reflects the creator of the work.
To come to a conclusion, I’d like to ask the presenter and those who backed him up to care more about issue that are actually harming religions like the behavior, claims and statements that their men (because it’s mostly men) are making that are ruining their reputations and positions.