Film Ameriki Tawil Ziad Rahbani’s Second Play-Turned-Film


Beirut-based video streaming platform M (m.media), along with its sister company
Mercury Content, has announced the next original Ziad Rahbani play to be released as a film: Film
Ameriki Tawil.
As part of a collaboration between M (m.media), Mercury Content and the artist, the 1980 play was
turned into a film following the cleaning up and selection of original footage from several
performances, which Ziad’s sister, the late Layal Rahbani, had filmed using a “Super 8” camera. The
rushes spent two years abroad for intensive restoration by specialists, before returning to Beirut for
the remaining editing efforts. The cleanup process proved to be delicate, since the 36-year old
footage was initially an internal tool to help the crew during rehearsals. The result is a 100-minute
film with archival properties, which assures to stir Lebanon’s collective memory.
In this respect, Film Ameriki Tawil includes some minor glitches, but it is a major improvement in
picture and sound – now with the 5.1 enhanced surround sound.
The play is about seven mentally ill patients and two drug addicts in a psychiatric hospital in West
Beirut during the civil war. Even amid their hysteria and unrest, the patients’ farcical statements seem
to make more sense than those of the medical staff. And still, they undergo various treatments
meant to drug or brainwash them into compliance with the status quo.
Film Ameriki Tawil is one of Ziad’s most acclaimed and astute works, winning over Lebanese listeners from all sorts of backgrounds, sects, and ideologies. Every character represents a different mindset stemming from the civil war, and as the story unfolds, the public is invited to question the social norms and general feelings that were established at that time – and that live on to this day.
The project is particularly exciting for M (m.media), as it will be another breakthrough in its online
compilation of films, plays and documentaries, Effectively, it fits the company’s efforts in curating
and producing relevant alternative content from or about Lebanon and the Middle East.
In later stages, Film Ameriki Tawil, along with Bennesbeh Labokra, Chou? and all upcoming original
productions, will be available to watch for subscribers on: www.m.media
Film Ameriki Tawil Official Trailer: https://m.media/en/Films/VID-000778
In Cinemas October 20, 2016.


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