In this debut documentary from director Nadim Mishlawi, the city of Beirut – the capital of Lebanon – is depicted as a chaotic hive filled with warring factions and very little sense. A mess, if you like. In this sense, the film personifies its subject matter.
67 minutes has never felt so long. At about ten minutes in, when the third montage of various rubble in glazed HD and slow-motion takes place – all accompanied by a Shutter Island -esque, disturbing score – that sickening feeling hits your stomach; this is going to be a drag.
There are three core components to the film: Dull montage of dilapidated locations, cheap-looking slideshows of stills, and fade-to-blacks that last an eternity. These aspects wouldn’t necessarily condemn it to complete banality, if there was a focused, potent story, but that just isn’t the case – it’s all over the place, utterly confusing and completely unengaging.
The only people I can recommend this film to are those who have direct ties to the area and to the relevant conflicts. Otherwise, this will be a real chore, even at the sub-feature runtime.