Khalil Joreige & Joana Hadjithomas
France, Lebanon, Qatar | 2012 | 95 min
Languages : Arabic, English, French
Subtitle : English
In Beirut in 1961, a group of scientists founded the “Lebanese Rocket Society” with the aim of reaching space. In 1967, their research was abruptly interrupted and soon forgotten. Rediscovering this incredible moment in history also makes us aware of the change in mentality when a utopian vision of progress gradually gave way to less idealistic thinking.
In Beirut in 1961, a group of Armenian-Lebanese scientists founded the “Lebanese Rocket Society” with the aim of reaching space with almost hand-made rockets; proof that one can dream of achieving the impossible in a small Middle Eastern country even before the first man had walked on the moon. The Lebanese Rocket Society, which clearly echoes the perception of the world and human beings as described by Jules Verne, offers an account in which fiction appears to supplant reality. In 1967, the group’s research was abruptly interrupted and soon forgotten, as was the majority of the documents bearing witness to this mad undertaking. Thanks to testimonies from certain participants and miraculously recovered archive images, the authors allow us to relive this incredible moment in history with astonishment and humour. The film also highlights a change in mentality as a utopian vision of progress gradually gave way to less idealistic thinking. A tribute – or perhaps a call – to dreamers.