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NNarrative Competition

The Valley

The Valley

Original Title: Al Wadi
Director: Ghassan Salhab
Lebanon, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Qatar | Arabic
2014 | 135min.
Subtitles: English
Format: DCP
15+
After crashing his car in an anonymous rural location, a man (Carlos Chahine) staggers back to the road, wounded. He encounters two more men (Fadi Abi Samra, Mounzer Baalbaki), who are struggling to repair their own car. The survivor fixes their vehicle in a few seconds, but is unable to remember his name, where he comes from or why he’s there. For quite different reasons, the men and their female companions also keep mum about who and what they are and regard the stranger with suspicion. They take him home anyway, where his presence provokes some consequences, while merely corresponding to others. Like his previous feature, The Mountain (2010), Ghassan Salhab’s challenging new film uses a defining geographical feature of a place (Lebanon) as the nominal premise of a work that eschews the cliché-strewn depictions of that place. Driven by amnesia and bound by nondisclosure, playing out among visual tropes that are generically familiar yet ill-defined, the “narrative' recalls the rigor of Beckett: gazing beyond mere plot to distill the condition of temporal uncertainty beneath. —Jim Quilty

Director,  Ghassan Salhab

Director,  Ghassan Salhab

Ghassan Salhab was born in Dakar, Senegal, and teaches film at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. Associated with Beirut’s ’90s generation of visual and performing artists who reached maturity in the wake of the country’s 1975–90 civil war, Salhab is Lebanon’s most productive art house film director. His four features as writer/director include Phantom Beirut (1998), Terra Incognita (2002), 1958 (2009) and The Mountain (2010). They have been complemented by a “creative documentary' and a handful of video art.

Cast and Crew

Director
Ghassan Salhab
Cast
Carlos Chahine, Carol Abboud, Fadi Abi Samra, Mounzer Baalbaki, Aouni Kawas, Yumna Marwan
Production Company
Abbout Productions, Unafilm Les Films d'ici
Sales Contact
Doc & Film International
Middle Eastern Distributor
MC Distribution
Music
Cynthia Zaven, Sharif Sehnaoui
Producer
Georges Schoucair
Screenwriter
Ghassan Salhab
Editor
Michele Tyan
Cinematographer
Bassem Fayad
Production Designer
Hussein Baydoun
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