VenueFrancesca Beale Theater
Set in 1977 during the Lebanese Civil War, Borhane Alaouié’s melancholic, meditative docu-fiction study of longing and life amid conflict begins as the lines of communication between East and West Beirut have been reestablished and two former university friends, a Christian woman (Nadine Acoury) and a Shiite man (Haithem el Amine), reconnect. They make a pact to record their thoughts and feelings to share with each other before the woman departs the next day for the United States, and we follow the two through the everyday system of checkpoints, traffic jams, and moments of tension that define their experience of Beirut. An entrancingly personal and atmospheric film poem about human connection in troubled times, Beirut the Encounter is a too-little-seen masterwork of Lebanese cinema. Beirut the Encounter was restored in 2018 from the original negative by the Royal Film Archive of Belgium – CINEMATEK. The 35mm negative was scanned and digitally restored in 2K. The magnetic soundtrack was also digitized by the Royal Film Archive of Belgium – CINEMATEK.