In the Ruins of Baalbeck Studios

Directed by Siska
Documentary | Lebanon, Germany | 2017 | Arabic, French, English | English | 48 Mins

Cairo Cinema Days 2
The story of this film project revolves around one of the biggest production studios in the Arab world, and its lost archive. Located on Charles Helou Boulevard in the East of Beirut, the remains of Studio Baalbeck, a white modernist villa with open doors, broken windows and a garden full of wild plants and pine trees, appear like a lifeless place. But even if this biggest production studio in the Arab region initiated in 1962 had fallen victim to the Lebanese civil war (1975 to 1990), it has nevertheless left behind a treasure of an archive of voice recordings and films that still are famous throughout the entire Arab world, spanning productions from Erbil to Amman, and from Damascus to Cairo. Negligence by the Lebanese authorities has led to mold growing on parts of this archive inside the damp underground warehouses.