Masse mystique

Karim Haroun
Canada, Lebanon, 75 min
World premiere

Every year, in commemoration of the death of Imam Husayn in the 7th Century, the Ashura takes place in Nabatieh, Lebanon. With almost surgical immersion in the arduous processions and (impressive) self-mutilations that serve as a 10-day reconstitution of martyrdom for thousands of Shi’ites, this film offers us a rare and intense ethnographic insight.

Every year, in commemoration of the death of Imam Husayn in the 7th Century, the Ashura takes place in Nabatieh, Lebanon. With almost surgical immersion in the arduous processions and (impressive) self-mutilations that serve as a 10-day reconstitution of martyrdom for thousands of Shi’ites, this film offers us a rare - and rather horrifying - ethnographic insight. “Imagine a painting by Brueghel, where daily life, prosaic and banal, is interweaved with intense mystical events in pictures able to encompass 250 characters all at once. Even if this event has little historical equivalent, the Ashura as it takes place in Nabatieh could well be compared to the flagellants of the Middle Ages, who would travel from village to village during Lent – as we see them portrayed in The Seventh Seal by Bergman.” (KBH). While the mass, which has become a single figure, is brought into trance by repetitive and extreme mechanisms, Karim B Haroun inserts it into a montage of shots/reverse shots that never stop widening the “frame”.

Emilie Bujès

Duration
75 min
Year
2014
Country
Canada, Lebanon
Sections
Etat d'Esprit
Regard Neuf
Premiere
World premiere
Language
Arabic
Subtitle
French, English
Production
Karim HarounMarina Klimoff
Sales Contact
Karim Harounkarim@nemesisfilms.com+14389390937
+14389390937

Etat d'Esprit

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