Simon El Habre
Lebanon, United Arab Emirates | 2011 | 84 min
Language : Arabic
Subtitle : English
The prologue of the film opens with a superb tracking shot that skims a boat and then slides directly into the port of Beirut. Next are alternate sequences, all without words, showing livestock, a road in the hinterland, the urban context, and a construction site. This is how, for the first eight minutes, Simon El Habre frames his work, clearly but subtly posing the themes of his discourse. Gate #5 is a portrait of a generation in Lebanon in the 1960s and 1970s, men who left their provincial villages to live in the capital and make a new life for themselves. Many, like the filmmaker’s father, became truck drivers at the time, thanks to the prosperous activity of the port of Beirut. Yet as the country has changed, this era is sadly long gone. As in his previous film, El Habre records his family’s oral accounts – after his uncle, it is his father’s turn, thus contributing to the precious work of transmitting the memory of a man, a period and a country.