Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
BEIRUT: In Beirut, one man creates a puzzle of the city’s past in order to tell some painful stories left untold but not forgotten.
Erased, ___Ascent of the Invisible

Orginal title: Tirss, Rihlat Alsoo'oud ila Almar'i)
Director: Ghassan Halwani
Producer: Ghassan Halwani
Country: Lebanon, 2018

In 1983, during the Lebanese civil war, artist, animator and now first time film director Ghassan Halwani witnessed the kidnapping of a man he knew. Many years later, Halwani thought he saw that man in a crowd. It was only for a moment but enough to stir the memory of a period that left thousands of unanswered questions.

Taken but not forgotten

The disappearance he witnessed was one of the many thousands of disappearances during a civil war that lasted for a decade and a half. An overwhelming amount of these cases remain unsolved to this day. Combining visual tools – from photos and drawings to maps, text and his own animations – Halwani’s debut film is an emotionally powerful experimental essay. Through his efforts to not let the disappeared be forever forgotten, the film explores what remains of a collective drama when authorities, time and the flux of life come together to erase from memory not only what happened but the very identities of those people who lived and are no more.

Halwani was not alone in witnessing that man . . .

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