The eyes of the world have been forced to turn their gaze upon Lebanon, not only because of the Beirut Port explosion that devastated this ancient city on 4th August 2020, but also because, sadly, Lebanon stands as an allegory for kleptocratic regimes and their catastrophic impact that have seen a resurgence across the globe.
Before the explosion, the country was already cowering under the weight of decades of civil conflict, unrelenting regional turmoil but mostly from endemic, systemic corruption and pure greed.
Filmmaker and journalist Daizy Gedeon leads us on a powerful and personal journey behind the mask of lies and deception and into the heart of Lebanon, deep into the historic and psychological causes behind the erosion and destruction of Lebanon, once a battleground and breeding ground for terrorists and violent militias, and still a focal point of controversy in the tumultuous Middle East.
This will be the first feature documentary to be released since the explosion, and the first to capture exclusive and controversial interviews with many of the key political leaders prior to the explosion including Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (July 2019 first interview given to a western journalist in 5 years), former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, prominent Hezbollah minister, Mohammed Fneich (2019 first interview given by any member of Hezbollah to a western journalist since 2006), Dr Samir Geagea, Executive Chairman of the Lebanese Forces, former justice ministers Salim Jreissait and Ashraf Rifi, the heads of various political factions, the controversial Central Bank Governor, Riad Salame, among many others. These are the very men responsible for much of Lebanon’s current state of desecration.
This film puts the spotlight on this ruling class and the manifold issues facing the country. Through incisive key interviews with whistle-blower, former Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Alain Bifani, Civil Activist, Dr Carmen Geha Professor of Public Administration at the American University of Beirut, academic and author,ThanassisCambanis, and Arab American Institute President Dr James Zogby, we blow the lid on the under-the-table, pie-sharing deals that have permitted many of the current political leaders, their families, and cronies to remain in power for decades.
The hard-hitting documentary gives an unparalleled platform to civil society leaders, the everyday man, woman and child whose lives have been destroyed and disrupted by the failings of an incompetent and complacent leadership who have brought the country to its knees, resulting in an unprecedented economic crisis that has witnessed the country default on its international loans for the first time in its history, left more than 60% of the population poverty stricken, unable to withdraw their own money from their own bank accounts, while billions of dollars belonging to the privileged elite were secretly spirited to offshore accounts only days before the March 2020 collapse.
The political confessional system, once universally hailed as the model of co-existence by other nations and even the Pope, comes under harsh scrutiny as a weak and impractical structure that provided the ideal environment and vulnerabilities that sanctioned the current octopus-like oligarchy to be created, and whose turgid tentacles reach deep into the bowels of society, and whose sting has resulted in countless assassinations and untold, unanswered destruction.
The film addresses the revolution and the global social justice movement that was triggered in 2019 among the diaspora who rallied to support their families and friends back home. It provides a powerful insight into the complex traditional and emotional loyalties among the people that stillthreaten any chance for change.
The people have a chance to save themselves, their future and their nation with upcoming national elections in May 2022. This film aims to be the trigger that launches a global movement #freeandfairlebanon to force real change.
Seen through the eyes of Lebanese-Australian journalist/filmmaker/businesswoman and mother, Daizy Gedeon, this film is the wake-up call for all people to stand against oppression and corruption by using their voice and democratic right to vote – VOTE FOR CHANGE!
- Shot over 4 years – 2017-2020 on 4 continents
- Beautifully filmed by award-winning Director of Photography, Justin Hanrahan ACS
- Expertly edited by Oscar Nominee and award-winning editor, Marcus D’Arcy ASE
- Powerfully uplifting musical score by award-winning concert pianist and composer Georges Tomb performed by the 83 piece Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lebanon… Imprisoned Splendour
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Featuring global movie star Omar Sharif