It's Christmas Eve and a snowstorm is out in the streets of Montreal when a package arrives at the door to single mother Maia. It is her teenage daughter Alex who receives it and curiously begins to explore the contents of the package. She unpacks old notebooks, photographs, letters, cassettes and old memories from her mother's turbulent and passionate youth during the Lebanese civil war in Beirut in the 80's. Through candid and unfiltered status reports from a country at war, Alex gains a new perspective on her mother and a deeper understanding of how the family ended up in Canada.
Directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Jorige use a large number of varied techniques to bring 80s Beirut to life in today's Montereal.
Memory box is a beautiful drama that is permeated by a contagious energy and hopeful expectations for the future. At the same time, it shows how difficult it is to convey the experience of war to someone who has not experienced it themselves.
The director duo and artists Joana Hadjithomas (b. 1969) and Khalil Jorige (b. 1969) both studied literature at the Paris Nanterre University and film in New York. The couple has directed several documentaries and feature films and exhibited numerous exhibitions together since the 2000s.
This film is part of
Original title Memory Box
Country Lebanon, Canada, France, Qatar
Director Joana Hadjithomas, Khlil Joreige
Screenplay Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige, Gaëlle Macé
Cinematography Josée Deshaies
Producer Christian Eid, Barbara Letellier, Georges Schoucair, Carole Scotta
Cast Rim Turki, Manal Issa, Paloma Vauthier
Production Company Abbout Productions, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), Ginger Beirut Production
Distribution Storytelling Media
Runtime 1h 22m
Language French, Arabic, English
Age limit 15