A Suspended Life by Jocelyne Saab

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Public film screening

Thursday, 18 May 2017, 7-9pm



Une Vie Suspendue - L'adolescente Sucre D'amour


Lebanon/France/Canada (1985)
Color film, 35 mm, 1h30


Directing : Jocelyne Saab

Scenario : Gérard Brach

Image : Claude La Rue

Sound : Pierre Lorrain

Editing : Philippe Gosselet

Music : Siegfried Kessler

Production : Aleph Production (Lebanon), Balcon Production (Lebanon), Cinévidéo et Téléfilms (Canada)

Actors : Jacques Weber , Hala Bassam, Juliet Berto, Ali Diab, Khaled El Sayed


The film tells the daily life of a young girl exiled in Beirut during the occupation of South Lebanon by the Israeli army. Samar was born during the war. An unwilling nomad, she grew among fighters. She acquired from them a taste for challenge and a ruthless attitude, which constrasts with her fascination with the sugar-coated Egyptian movies she is fed by TV.


In a pink and secret house, Karim, an artist with a dual cultural belonging, dedicates himself to the painting of arabesques. He hopes to find in them a refuge from the collapse of his reason. He is indeed exhausted and has maybe even lost his taste for life. The meeting of Samar and Karim is made possible by the war. An incomprehensible link unites them. 


« A Suspended Life » was selected at the « Quinzaine des Réalisateurs » at the Cannes Festival of 1985.


The Movie was partly shot in the Heneine Palace and in the Ziadeh Palace facing it, both neighboring mansions of the Orient-Institut Beirut in Zokak el-Blat. As such, it is an inestimable historical document, showing the interiors and original states of two exceptional and unfortunately endangered buildings.


This film screening is part of the Watch Day programme of activities spreading from 18 to 21 May, organized following the inscription of the Heneine Palace in the 2016 Watch List of the World Monuments Fund.