07 Nov 2018
Film screening and discussion with the director
film still, Erased,__Ascent of the Invisible (Tirss, Rihlat Alsou'oud ila Almar'i), Lebanon 2018
On the occasion of Ghassan Halwani’s screening of Erased,__Ascent of the Invisible (Tirss, Rihlat Alsou'oud ila Almar’i) at the Festival dei Popoli, Florence we cordially invite you to a second appointment with the author at Villa Romana.
Parts of the work have been developed during Ghassan Halwani’s residency at the Villa Romana In 2014. The film received a special mention in the First Feature Competition at this year’s Locarno Film Festival.
"It begins with a disappearance 35 years in the past. In fact, it begins even before that, during a civil war that has ended but whose impact — and absences — continue to be felt. Erased,____ Ascent of the Invisible embraces this layered sense of history's continual unspooling into the present. Ghassan Halwani's powerful debut feature is an evocative examination of the thousands of people who were disappeared during Lebanon´s 15-year conflict. Diving into this politically loaded and personally resonant topic, Halwani scrapes away — at times, quite literally — layers of Lebanese history and rethinks the topography of modern-day Beirut. Though the disappeared were erased — their bodies remaining unfound and unrecovered decades later — their presence lingers. As Halwani explores, the dead remain in the memory of loved ones, beneath the sidewalks of gentrified neighbourhoods, in the very fabric of society.
A photographer who transitioned to illustration, Halwani employs multiple mediums, including photography, voiceover, onscreen text, and his own animation. The result is a rumination on how violent acts — crimes against humanity — play into notions of martyrdom, shape national narratives, and pose questions about the very right, in being killed, to die."
Ghassan Halwani lives and works in Beirut. After the short-animated film Jibraltar (2005), he was mainly involved in collaborations with Lebanese and Arab filmmakers, playwrights, contemporary artists, publishers, and musicians. Among his contributions: a short animation film closing the feature documentary Lebanese Rocket Society by Khalil Joreige and Joanna Hadjithomas, a long contribution on several plays and installations with Lebanese Playwright and artist Rabih Mroué, Animated music video Takhabot with Palestinian Musician Tamer Abu Ghazaleh. Erased, Ascent of the Invisible is his second film and first feature. Besides his artistic engagement, his work focuses on the public and political spheres. He is currently contributing to the creation of a national archive dedicated to enforced disappearances in Lebanon. In parallel, he is collaborating on research towards a film about the National Master Plan and the regulation of land and property in Lebanon.