West Beirut (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, War Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 3, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - France , Lebanon   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Bhob Stewart

Lebanese writer Ziad Dolueiri made his directorial debut with this French-Lebanese-Belgian-Norwegian co-production, an autobiographical drama with Arabic and French dialogue. In 1975, after self-confident Tarek (Rami Doueiri, the director's brother) witnesses the start of civil war, he and his pal Omar (Mohamad Chamas) are picked up by Tarek's mother Hala (Carmen Lebbos), a lawyer married to Riad (Joseph Bou Nasser). The next day, Hala is ready to flee, but Riad refuses. With school closed, Tarek and Omar are free to roam about, and they're joined by their new neighbor, May (Rola Al Amin). However, the reality of the war soon intrudes. Shown in the Directors Fortnight section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.