Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Bruce Reid, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: West Beirut

[Written for The Stranger]

There is a special category of war film that chooses not to merely restate the obvious lesson that war is a nightmare, but instead tries to capture the joy and riotous freedom that conflict can bring about, and trusts the audience to supply the rest of the story. This is the anarchy that John Boorman celebrated in Hope and Glory — the world turned upside down with children running gleefully through the rubble — and it motivates West Beirut as well. An autobiographical first feature by cameraman Ziad Doueiri, West Beirut collapses almost a decade of Lebanon’s brutal civil war into what, through the eyes of his youthful protagonists, seems like one delirious summer.

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