Unlock 3 films to stream instantly
Already unlocked? for access

Give as a gift

3 films in package
Hostage: The Bachar Tapes
Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English Version) is an experimental documentary about "The Western Hostage Crisis." The crisis refers to the abduction and detention of Westerners like Terry Anderson, and Terry Waite in Lebanon in the 80s and early 90s by "Islamic militants." This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, U.S., French, and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high-profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S.
This is Not Beirut (There was and there was not)
This Is Not Beirut is a personal essay on the popular misrepresentations of Lebanon and Beirut which documents the filmmaker's own experiences while working in Lebanon. Aware of its own conceptual baggage, the tape situates itself between genres in order to better expose commonplace assumptions. The examination is thus liberated to realize the actual complexities of the identities of artist and subject. The result is a critical engagement of the disparities and disjunctions arising on site.
Nightfall (Indama Ya'ati al-Masa)
In 1975, a group of young Lebanese men joined the Palestinian organization "Fateh". Known as the "Student Brigade", they participated in the Lebanese Civil War. Some of them were killed, others left the country. Following the Israeli invasion in 1982, Palestinian armed forces left Lebanon. The "Student Brigade" dissoluted and the young Lebanese fighters have now become old nursing their solitude with alcohol, poetry, and songs.
$0After unlocking, you'll have 29 hours 52 minutes to start watching. Once you begin, you'll have 72 hours to finish watching. Need help?

RECONSTRUCTING HISTORIES examines the role of the documentary in representing the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) through the experimental works of three important Lebanese post-war artists/filmmakers: Walid Raad, Jayce Salloum, and Mohamad Soueid. 

 

The Lebanese Civil War officially ended after the 1989 Taif Accord, granting amnesty to those who committed war crimes, allowing these same figures to freely exchange their guns for a seat in the government, many of whom are still in power to this day. This raises the question: How can a country move forward when its past is unresolved and prone to repetition? 

 

This policy of forgetting, and the failure of the government's handling of the nation's historical narrative, prompted a number of post-war artists - who were born during the 1960s and 1970s and grew up during times of war - to tackle the challenges of representing their recent past. These post-war artists used the documentary as a terrain to critically examine their history and how it was being represented. 

 

In the experimental documentary Hostage: The Bashar Tapes, Walid Raad challenges notions of truth and historiography, bringing to the foreground the mediation of images in the construction of historical knowledge, questioning who has the right to shape historical narratives. In This is Not Beirut, Jayce Salloum highlights the crisis of representation - from reductionism to misrepresentation - conveying the impossibility of representing the overwhelming and complex narrative of the Lebanese Civil War. While the works of Salloum and Raad are crucial to addressing the issues and limitations of the documentary form, their role has been to point out, rather than fix these problems, reflecting the postmodern approach and its tendency towards aversion to "truth" in representation. In comparison, Mohamad Soueid’s Nightfall takes a subjective rather than conceptual approach, excavating fragments of Lebanon’s past from the ruins of memory.


Hostage: The Bachar TapesWalid Raad, 16 min | United States, Lebanon | 2001

This is Not Beirut (There was and there was not), Jayce Salloum, 49 min | United States, Lebanon | 1992-1993

Nightfall (Indama Ya'ati al-Masa), Mohamad Soueid, 70 min | Lebanon | 2000


RECONSTRUCTING HISTORIES is curated by ArteEast’s film curator Ginou Choueiri and presented as part of the ArteEast legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, preserving and presenting over 17 years of film and video programming by ArteEast.

Hostage: The Bachar Tapes


Synopsis: Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English Version) is an experimental documentary about "The Western Hostage Crisis." The crisis refers to the abduction and detention of Westerners like Terry Anderson, and Terry Waite in Lebanon in the 80s and early 90s by "Islamic militants." This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, U.S., French, and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high-profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S.


In Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English version), the "Western Hostage Crisis" is examined through the testimony of Souheil Bachar, who was held hostage in Lebanon between 1983 and 1993. What is remarkable about Souheil's captivity is that he was the only Arab to have been detained with the Western hostages kidnapped in Beirut in the 1980's. In fact, Souheil was held for three months in 1985 in the same cell as five American men: Terry Anderson, Thomas Sutherland, Benjamin Weir, Marting Jenco, and David Jacobsen.


In 1999, Bachar collaborated with The Atlas Group (a non-profit cultural research foundation based in Lebanon) to produce 53 videotapes about his captivity. Tapes #17 and #31 are the only two tapes Bachar makes available outside of Lebanon. In the tapes, Bachar addresses the cultural, textual, and sexual aspects of his detention with the Americans.


Bio: Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon) is an artist and a Professor of Art in (the still-charging-tuition) The Cooper Union (New York, USA).


Raad’s works include The Atlas Group, a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the ongoing projects Scratching on Things I Could Disavow and Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut). His books include WalkthroughThe Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is DeadMy Neck Is Thinner Than A HairLet’s Be Honest The Weather Helped, and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow.


Raad’s solo exhibitions include the Louvre (Paris), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA), ICA (Boston, USA), Museo Jumex (Mexico City, Mexico), Kunsthalle Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), The Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, UK), Festival d’Automne (Paris, France), Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels, Belgium), The Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin, Germany). His works have also been shown in Documenta 11 and 13 (Kassel, Germany), The Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Whitney Bienniale 2000 and 2002 (New York, USA), Sao Paulo Bienale (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Istanbul Biennal (Istanbul, Turkey), Homeworks I and IV (Beirut, Lebanon) and numerous other museums, biennales and venues in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.


Raad is the recipient of the Aachener Kunstpreis (2018), ICP Infinity Award (2016), the Hasselblad Award (2011), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), the Camera Austria Award (2005), a Rockefeller Fellowship (2003), among other grants, prizes and awards.


Raad is also represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Hamburg / Beirut) and Paula Cooper Gallery (New York). His video works are also distributed by Video Data Bank (Chicago) as well as V-Tape (Toronto).

  • Year
    2001
  • Runtime
    16min
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States, Lebanon
  • Director
    Walid Raad, Souheil Bachar