Under the Bombs (4 stars)

Under the Bombs

(15) 90min (Artificial Eye DVD retail)


This piece from former documentary maker Philippe Aractingi speaks loudly of his own artistic origins in reportage. In it, a mother returns to Lebanon at the end of the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006 in order to find her son, who has disappeared amidst the violent anarchy in the South. A pragmatic, black marketeering Christian taxi driver agrees, for a heavy fee, to undertake a search of the bombed out territory with her. After that, this piece becomes a powerful semi-documentary road movie travelling through the ruins of the countryside.

Shot on location within a few days of the end of the war, using its real victims as extras, this is as powerful a piece of anti-war film making as you’re likely to see this year, bound together by an uncertain kind of love story. The film doesn’t really take a position between Lebanon and Israel, nor Christian and Shi’ite, yet it’s capacity to awe with the sheer scale of the waste of this event will leave you thinking long and hard. Well worth the watch.

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