Filmmakers Daniele Rugo and Abi Weaver will show extracts from their upcoming film and discuss the material with the audience.
Through rare archive footage and personal accounts of ex-fighters from the Lebanese Civil War, this character driven documentary explores the tensions between individual choice and sectarian violence in the Middle East.
Assad, Nassim and Ahed were teenagers during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). They picked up arms to fight in a conflict that became the blueprint for today’s wars in the Middle East. On the backdrop of Syrian occupation, Israeli invasions and the rise of Islamism, they relive the battles that transformed their lives. From Shatila Refugee Camp and reconstructed Tel-el-Zaatar through to accounts of the siege of Beirut, the ex-fighters reflect on their recruitment into militias and how they used violence in a bid for social change. While they continue to struggle with the trauma of their experiences, they are nowadays dedicated to campaigning for conflict prevention and positive change. As Lebanon continues to be marred by new conflicts – Assad, Nassim and Ahed ask how the country and region can move from sectarian unrest to peaceful co-existence.
Whilst ex-combatants are often used as effective tools for recruitment of new fighters, their experiences can equally be harnessed for conflict prevention. Following the Wires (working title) offers a unique insight into the reasons why civilians pick up arms and shows how those who fight can become stakeholders for peace building.
The film is currently in post-production and set to complete by Summer 2018.
The film was funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council Grant through the Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research.
Daniele Rugo is Senior Lecturer in Film at Brunel University London and an associate of the American University of Beirut. He is the author of two feature-length documentaries and has published two monographs and one edited volume.
Abi Weaver has produced and developed content for BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV. She has produced a range of content from current affairs to factual entertainment and has published work on subjects ranging from voice studies to post-conflict Lebanon.
The Little Theater, St Michaels Place, Bath BA1 1SG