Cert: 15 Year: 2021 Length: 102 mins Language: French, Arabic and English
Cinema Handout (PDF 110KB)
Score: 73.21% Attendance: 57
Montreal, Canada, present day. A postman arrives at the house of Lebanese Maia and her daughter Alex with a large box from France. "It contains the pictures and notebooks she sent to her best friend Liza circa 1983 after the girl moved to Paris, minutely recounting her daily life during the civil war. Now Liza is dead and the 'memory box' has been returned to sender" -Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter. Alex is intrigued but Maia doesn’t want her to look. Inevitably, Alex cannot resist and the film follows her discovery of her mother's past. Why was Maia so insistent on not looking back..?
Directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have worked together since they met at collage, firstly on shorts but then on feature films ('A Perfect Day', 'I want to see'), always about the state of modern Lebanon. Their films have always been popular on the Festival circuit and have won several awards over the years.
Memory Box is not a film about the fighting or the bombing in the civil war, so much as a film about the everyday lives of people during the war: Alex "learns how the teenage Maia clashed with her parents, got obsessed with guys and her own looks, partied and experienced joy in a time when not only were there no mobile phones or WhatsApp, but there was a war going on with constant bombings and militia-run checkpoints where people were frequently killed" – Leslie Felperin, Guardian.
There are so many textures at play here - a real sense of cinematic alchemy.
Steph Green, Little White Lies
Contains the same compassion, curiosity and joyful invention found in Varda's body of work. Katherine Mclaughlin, Sight & Sound
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