Prix César & Lebanese Abroad

I caught a glimpse of 31st edition of the Cesar Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars), which was organized yesterday at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The reason I actually stopped zapping was because I heard the winner say: "and finally, I dedicate this award to Lebanon, and to the Lebanese!"
Huh? What? Who?
So, I did some googling, and it looks like "After Shave / Beyrouth après-rasage" (Hany Tamba) won the Best Short Film award!

It's nice to see that, in contrast to the Lebanese politicians who are doing more division than unity, there are still some people who draw a brighter image of Lebanon.

However, I wonder why I was kind of surprised to see a Lebanese wins something. Yes, I know, the world is filled with prominent figures of Lebanese origins, but why are we, as Lebanese (or is it more accurate to say as third-world citizens?), less likely to realize an international achievement (an achievement beside spreading the Lebanese cuisine and opening restaurants all around the world). (Don't look at me like I've never heard of Elie Saab and the like before; I'm generally speaking). And on the other hand, why are we more likely to realize that achievement, once we leave our country & spread our wings abroad?
I guess part of the answer is obvious: no supporting ministries. I just couldn't help stressing it.

For those interested, here's a list of all the winners at that ceremony.


At Monday, February 27, 2006 7:51:00 AM, Blogger Alessandro_PPG said...

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At Monday, February 27, 2006 2:02:00 PM, Blogger alain said...

congratulations for the award.. but Lebanese are only good for producing war movies. and without the foreign money, no one would have ever heard of them!
you think anyone of them would think of going back? all those who are living abroad are only good for ranting about their lebanon.. but when it comes to coming back, hahaha! no one dares to make the move!
no wonder their most famous reputation is "deceitful businessmen"!
no offense anyone :)

At Monday, February 27, 2006 3:09:00 PM, Blogger arch.memory said...

Eve, it is always uplifting to read such news, but you do bring up a very valid point, one that I think answers Alain's question: the Lebanese tends to fare better abroad (and therefore not think of coming back home) because there is the infrastructure abraod to support such successes. And this infrastructure is not only financial (though I would never underestimate that aspect of the equation), but also cultural, societal, etc. And because, yes, we, the Lebanese abroad, have more of a chance at success and recognition outside of Lebanon than inside. Part of that might be as simple a reason as the size of the country: it is too small to be supportive of any such elite activities as cultural pursuits (and that is what the arts are after all, societal luxuries). But I think it is too naive and ignorant to suggest, as Alain did, that it is for lack of any patriotism. I would even say that it is as much due to that as staying in Lebanon is out of patriotism: some would argue that staying in Lebanon is simply out of lack of any other choice. And the argument would be just as simplistic, naive and ignorant.

At Monday, February 27, 2006 4:13:00 PM, Blogger Mo said...

First and foremost, the movie is not a war movie.
It's a short movie telling the story of a barber and a rich widower. The movie is an interesting socio-cultural introspection of lebanese post-war society.
The production is french but almost everybody working on the movie is lebanese. The movie was shot in lebanon. The casting is one of the best you can find in lebanon.
The problem is that such movies are never promoted in lebanon. You think LBC will put such a movie on its grid, come on. The only places you can this movie screened in are : guess what, the CCF (centre culturel francais) and Masra7 l Madina.
So, who do you think would pay for a movie that will only be screened in masra7 l madina?
The same guys who put money in masra7 l madina (i.e. nobody).

At Monday, February 27, 2006 7:06:00 PM, Blogger Emilio Dib said...

nice blog man, thanks for the link

At Monday, February 27, 2006 7:54:00 PM, Blogger IronMask said...

لما ينجحون في الخارج بينما يصعب تحقيق هذا النجاح في الداخل؟
أي تحليل بسيط للسؤال يكون الفرق هو في كلمتين "الخارج" و "الداخل"، يبدو أنه في الخارج هناك أنظمة ومجتمعات تشجع على النجاح بكافة انواعه وتجعل من النجاح هدف وتسعى لتعميم هذا الهدف،
خلق الانسان السوبر في العالم المتحضر هو طريقة لتحفيز المجتمعات على الانتماء والانتاج، أبطال السينما، ابطال الرياضة وأصحاب الدخل العالي ، كل تلك الاشياء هي جزء من حضارة وتركيبة المجتمعات الغربية، حلم كل انسان ان يصبح سوبر، حلم كل انسان أن يكون مشهورا، هي طريقة ناجحة جداً في خلق مجتمع النجاحات،
ولكن في بلادنا هناك انظمة ومجتمعات تضع ألاف المعايير للنجاح ولكنها عاجزة عن تطبيق اي من هذه المعايير لأنها مجتمعات قاصرة وغير مستعدة لتقبل النجاح إلا من خلال تحقيق مفاهيم قد عفا عليها الزمن وشرب،
النجاح يحتاج لأبداعات، الأبداع يحتاج لحرية فكر، وحرية الفكر لاتنمو إلا في مجتمعات متحررة، لا تنمو حرية الفكر في مجتمعات تقدس الاشخاص والحكومات،
الحرية تعني الحرية المطلقة، الحرية التي لامعنى أخر لها سوى الحرية، مجتمعاتنا ما زالت تتلاعب على مفهوم الحرية للتهرب من الحرية، ولــذا لا تنتظرو نجاحات في مجتمع مقيد للفكر، محاصر للتعبير، يعتبر النجاح هو الحصول على مكان في الجنة

أعتذر للإطالة، لكن النجاح والحرية في بلادنا بحاجة لمرثية تطول وتطول،

At Monday, February 27, 2006 9:51:00 PM, Blogger Assaad said...

Eve, hope to see your name among the winners of the best writers in Arabic again and again ;)

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