Friday, September 01, 2006

Video: Beirut 1966-2006

Note: This movie should not be taken to be a historically accurate recount of Lebanon's history. It is meant to be viewed in an entertaining capacity.
I originally received this video by email during the July war and decided to put it on the backburner. Now that things have cooled a little I've put it up.

I found it to be entertaining, and not very enlightening. Apart from a few introductory words at the beginning of each 'era' there is nothing else in terms of putting the images in context. But fear not! We have a self-proclaimed historical expert in our midsts and I'm sure our most gracious of contributors, Debate, would be more than happy to answer anyone's questions with regards to the historical events highlighted in this video.

I was a bit disappointed to find that it ended right before the start of this most recent war but that is not the fault of the producer of the film as it was released on July 7th.

Some scenes were taken from movie "West Beirut", specifically the bus scene (depicting the ambush of a bus carrying Palestinians in Beirut by Phalangist militia men – the events surrounding that ambush, along with the ambush itself, are widely accredited with igniting the civil war in Lebanon). The second scene to be taken from that movie was the checkpoint scene in which a resident of the city is informed that it has been split in two – East Beirut: controlled by (Right-Wing) Christian Militias; and West Beirut: controlled by Leftist, Druze, and Muslim militias.

The movie contains some really nice footage. There is a scene of an aerial dogfight that took place over Lebanese skies between Syrian and Israeli fighter jets. One of them didn’t make it, its not clear who.

There is also a scene with Sharon leading the 1982 invasion, standing at Beaufort castle looking over the landscape and basically seeing exactly the same terrain as we have featured in our ‘My Beautiful South’ section which Kronos has been kind enough to provide.
The Lebanese poet highlighted in the video is Saiid Akl. Now I'm not much of an Arabic poetry buff (major understatement) but what I know about this guy is that most people from my generation make fun of him. Luckily for our readers, however, you don't have to rely on me in this area of expertise as we have our very own in-house poet, Attractor, who might be able to tell us more about Saiid Akl...if anybody cares.

Alright enough out of me, I hope you enjoyed the movie.


  1. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Well the movie is a major disappointment. It is so one sided it is frightening.

    We see the massacres of Sabrand Shatila, we see the Israelis coming in. But we don't see any of the massacres perpetrated by the Palestinian militias, by the Amal militias, et al.

    It is as if Lebanon suffered under the hands of Israel and the Lebanese Forces. Which at best is laughable, at worse very dangerous revisionism.

    Also while April 13th is widely credited as the ignition of the civil war, new respected historians have placed the cursor a bit back, to the different assassination attempts of Pierre Gemayel for example, while some go even further back.

  2. You're absolutely right Anonymous. I thought about putting a little statement in there saying this movie should not be taken as a historical source but I figured people would figure that out for themselves.

    I agree with your statements for the most part and I think I will go ahead an put up that statement.

  3. I really liked West Beyrouth. I see some scenes have been used in it. Nonetheless some scenes are real, and it is sad... Beirut has really suffered a lot!

  4. The video is entertaining I guess. On the other hand, the music to the video is ridiculous. I did not know that the war took place during an arabic dance festival with 3uud and Derbakke.

  5. Yeah, I found the music totally inappropriate the first time I watched it. I got over it after a while I guess.

    There are a bunch of videos like this available on YouTube. I didn't watch too many of them, some might be more interesting I suppose, so if anybody wants to recommend any go ahead.

  6. Anonymous12:51 PM

    bonjour je suis le realisateur de cette video JKTakieddine. tout d'abord merci de lavoir bloggé, merci pour vos critiques négatives et positives ... je ne pouvais pas parler de tout le monde ... chaque communauté a apprecié la video mais ma critiké aussi ... pas de hezbollah pour les chiite ... pas de hariri pour les sunnites ... pas de phoenix pas assez anti palestienne et anti syrienne pour les maronites ... bref si tout le monde critik c peut etre la preuve kelle est bien cette video ... et pour les musiks 5% javoue de non appreciation sur les 35 000 personnes ki ont du la voir en tout ... c recevable mais 95% ont kiffé !! alors ...

    Vive le liban

  7. Anonymous7:43 AM

    R U sure that Saiid Akl is "glorifiying the zionist army?" as I think I heard him say in the movie, he said that this army is an ennemy who should be defeated. but the end of his phrase is unclear about which army he's talking about as being the saviour.


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