To my Beirut

Á mon Beyrouth…

Interview with the actor Chadi Haddad


Tell us about the character that you play

Farid is a young 23 year old Jordanian man, is a contradicting young man who lives a modern free life, who drinks and parties yet somewhat thrived with the idea that his father died for honor. After twenty years he has to come to terms with the fact that his father was very much alive and faces conflict over the myth that he lived with all this time. In addition he feels guilt towards the way he wastes his time and his mother’s illness. The message here is that one cannot feed off another person’s glory, which is what people tend to do, and to find his own opinions and perspectives in life, rather than follow the path the system expects him to be on.

What do you think about the subject of the film?

Cinema is made to put light on a matter. Arabs tend to hide behind their finger when it comes to such a taboo subject. This is an important way to touch such a subject.

How did you like working with the director and the team?

Jean Claude Codsi is a wonderful person to work with. He really listens to the actor and gives him space and freedom to work. The team was wonderful. We had a good atmosphere on set.

How was the opening in the Doha Film Institute and how do you perceive the change in politics in the region with respect to cinema?

It was really good, the opening. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, the festivals in the gulf cities have really aided and supported Arabic films and the Lebanese Cinema.

What films have you recently watched that you really enjoyed?

The Artist, I liked very much. Halla2 la Wein (Where do we go now?) was a wonderful piece of work. The Iron Lady was a simple film as an idea, but Meryl Streep made it fascinating to watch. I also watched the French film “Omar killed me”. It is very interesting.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a film called “39 seconds”. It is a feature film set in Beirut. The idea behind it is how sorrow can be the cause of change.

How do you feel about the idea of online “Video on Demand” in the Middle East?

I think we need it. Such marketing for the Arabic Cinema, particularly the Lebanese one is very important.

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