Skip to main content


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).

See also...


Six-year-old Iris emerges from a burial box into a dreamlike world of pre-pubescent girls, all with coloured ribbons in their hair. The ribbons denote the girls' ages, all-important in this ... More »

Sky Turns, The

Mercedes Alvarez's debut feature, [The Sky Turns], is a reflective meditation on impermanence, memory and the passage of time. ... Just 14 inhabitants remain in Aldealsenor, a village in the dramatic ... More »


The beautiful 22-year-old Eva is stuck in a go-nowhere job and the lout to whom she has become pregnant has left her. With few options open, she chooses to terminate the pregnancy. On her way to the ... More »

murmuring coast, the

The debut feature of Margarida Cardoso is a beautifully nuanced film about love, power, subordination and pride. ... Young bride Evita arrives in an African colony coastal town to spend her honeymoon ... More »


Kate (Shirley Henderson) is unable to grieve for her missing sister, who two years earlier disappeared without trace. In her search for answers, Kate - a fish-factory worker in the astonishingly ... More »


What if all the people who died in the last 10 years stepped back into their old lives' Robin Campillo's debut feature is anything but a zombie pic. It is a cautionary tale with a sci-fi spin, which ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director