Q&A with Abbas Fahdel

“The latest from Iraqi-French filmmaker Abbas Fahdel forgoes the armed conflict that has up to now inspired his features in favor of something altogether unexpected but in some ways just as brave: a love story. Yara’s picturesque location—a remote valley in northern Lebanon, all grand expanses and gorgeously overgrown canyons—stands in sharp contrast to the modesty of the narrative, which follows the teenage title character (Michelle Wehbe), who lives and works with her hardscrabble grandmother (Mary Alkady) on a cliffside farm, and falls for a young hiker, Elias (Elias Freifer). The drama, if that’s not too strong a term, is of a purely romantic nature.” —Jordan Cronk (Jan/Feb 2019 issue)

Travel support generously provided by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.