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The feature debut from animator Chloe Mazlo is a strikingly original live action love story inspired by the real-life experiences of Mazlo’s grandparents. In the 1950s, Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) escapes her rigid lifestyle in the Swiss Alps by accepting a position as a nanny in Beirut. There, she falls in love with scientist Joseph (Incendies playwright Wajdi Mouawad), who works dedicatedly on putting the first Lebanese on the moon. As Alice and Joseph marry and start a family, Mazlo brings to life an enchanted time when Lebanon was a paradise for these two lovers and not the war-torn nation it has been for several decades. Inevitably, however, it is the civil war that begins to take the joy out of Alice and Joseph’s relationship. In order to experience and bring-to-life the country that she only heard about in the modest and hopeful legends told by her family, Mazlo presents us with a story that doesn’t confront the horrors of war straight-on. The filmmaker also employs cinematic language (including some stop-motion animation) that is usually reserved for tales of fantasy and whimsy. Immeasurably aided by the gifted cinematographer Hélène Louvart, Mazlo’s heartfelt technique makes the bittersweet and melancholic aspects of her grandparents’ story hit home in Skies of Lebanon’s concluding scenes. A selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival Critic’s Week. (JH)

This Young French Cinema program was made possible with the support of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    90 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Chloe Mazlo
  • Screenwriter
    Yacine Badday, Chloe Mazlo
  • Producer
    Frédéric Niedermayer, Marios Piperides
  • Cast
    Alba Rohrwacher, Wajdi Mouawad, Isabelle Zighondi
  • Cinematographer
    Hélène Louvart
  • Editor
    Clémence Carré
  • Music
    Bachar Khalifé