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France / Belgium / Lebanon, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Emergence: Women Filmmakers)

Director: Danielle Arbid

[In the Battlefields], which premiered in Cannes' Directors' Fortnight and also screened in Venice, is an evocative and acutely observed work that marks the emergence of a great filmmaking talent. Director Danielle Arbid, who grew up in Beirut, brings a clear-eyed perspective that could only be based on lived experience. Her vital portrayal of a girl's coming-of-age and true life in a war zone is an auspicious debut indeed. Lina is 12 years old. She lives in Beirut and is totally uninterested in war. Her secret, rebellious childhood revolves around Siham, her aunt's maid. She takes it upon herself to monitor the 18-year-old Siham, supervising her clandestine dates and defending her interests. But Siham seems oblivious to Lina's generosity. Daily life in this environment is precarious; the outside war is a constant and corrosive threat. But to Lina, the war zone outside is secondary to her own problems. While confronting her father's destructive gambling habit, and also realising that Siham intends to run away for good, Lina stumbles into the adult world.
D Danielle Arbid P Jerome Vidal S Danielle Arbid WS Bavaria Film International L Libanais w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/90mins Danielle Arbid was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1970. Her films include [Raddem] (1998, short), [Alone with the War] (2000), [On Borders] (2002), [Etrangere] (2002).

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