Memory Box

classified 15 S

Please note: This was screened in Jan 2022

Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige
Manal Issa, Jade Charbonneau, Rim Turki
102 mins, Subtitled, 2021, France-Lebanon-Canada
Primary language

A package of keepsakes from 1980s wartime Beirut arrives in contemporary Montreal, in this stylish intergenerational drama from acclaimed directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.

Teenager Alex (Paloma Vauthier) covertly goes through her mother Maia’s box of journals, audio tapes and photographs, which reveal a difficult adolescence in the war-torn Lebanese capital – and a dark family secret. Between fantasy and reality, Alex enters the world of her mother’s tumultuous, passionate adolescence during the Lebanese civil war, unlocking mysteries of a hidden past...

The film explores how distance affects personal relationships, while providing a refreshingly female perspective on conflict and memory. Long-term collaborators whose outputs cross the worlds of art and film, Hadjithomas and Joreige here delve into their personal archives, building from their own memory boxes. An ode to hope and regeneration at a time when Beirut once again finds itself rebuilding after a tragedy.