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33 Days

Distributed by Typecast Releasing, 3131 Western Ave., Suite 514, Seattle, WA 09121; 206-322-0882
Produced by Mai Masri in association with Jean Chamoun
Directed by Mai Masri
DVD, color, 74 min.
Jr. High - Adult
Lebanon, Human Rights, Political Science, War

Reviewed by Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 9/16/2010

Producer and director Mai Masri presents us with a brilliantly directed and vividly entrancing eyewitness account of the July 12, 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in which the citizens of Lebanon were the victims.

Masri allows us to live the scenes that rapidly develop, fade, and re-emerge in this dramatic event. We are allowed to see and interpret the days that follow July 12 through the eyes and thoughts of several inspiring people. One individual is the theatre director Sharif Abdunnur who focuses on making the theatre a home for the refugees and seeks to maintain spirits of optimism through his work with the children. Other figures are graphic designer Sharif Bibi, journalist Fadia Baszzi, and Mariam Al-Bassam director of the New TV news desk. We follow heroic news coverage, attempts to give emergency aid and the challenges of just remaining confident in God. This video allows us to see the actions of Hezbollah in light of a people who suffer great catastrophe as the result of third party actions. Questions may emerge which lead the viewer to consider how it is that war creates heroes on one side while simultaneously creating guerillas on the other. This film will challenge your understanding and perspectives about Hezbollah and the ongoing tensions that surround the Middle-East in relation to the Palestinian displacement and Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza. These questions only magnify the complexity of the issues that converge to create these tensions and the failure of several attempts to arrive at a permanent truce or resolution between Israel and Palestine.

Amongst the need for a resolving plan and action there is the overbearing need to realize that victims continue to be made as each wound is opened. This film calls for compassion and a fuller expression of humanity rather than continued expression of war and the horrors which accompany it.