33 RPM and a Few Seconds

Rabih Mroué + Lina Saneh

A young Lebanese man takes his own life and, in a farewell letter, declares that his reasons are personal and have nothing to do with politics. But his suicide mobilises a society desperately in search of meaning: institutions (official and unofficial, religious and secular, left-wing and right-wing) and individuals (young and old) find their own reasons. Does the young man’s death belong to the public or only to him and his relatives? Was he driven by the hope of an uprising?

In their semi-documentary work, Rabih Mroué and Lina Saneh astutely reconstruct the final moments of a person’s life, at the same time passionately unmasking the problems of a country in which last year’s Arab revolutions have failed to strike a spark. Can an act of desperation, be it politically motivated or not, revive the hope for change in such a divided nation? The young man is dead but everything lives on, vibrating and communicating in his bedroom: the television, the answering machine, the computer … Time pauses and begins anew, history is pieced together – never constructed, of course – from so many fragments of communication.

Text and direction: Rabih Mroué & Lina Saneh Set design, graphic and animation: Samar Maakaroun Director of photography: Sarmad Louis Assistant technical production: Sarmad Louis & Thomas Köppel Translation: Ziad Nawfal Casting and production: Petra Serhal Editing: Najib Zeitouni & Sarmad Louis

With Nagham Abboud, Samir Abou Jaoudé, Thomas Bowles, Edy Gemaa, Raseel Hadjian, Colette Hajj, Wadad Hneine, Paul Khodr, Ibtisam Kishly, Eliane Mallat, Muriel Moukawem, Elie Njeim, Antoine Ozon & Najeeb Zeytouni

Voices: Abdallah Al Machnouk, Gheith El Amine, Raphael Fleuriet, Charbel Haber, May Kassem, Nesrine Khodr, Victoria Lupton, Diran Mardirian, Rabih Mroué, Ziad Nawfal & Lina Saneh

Chant: Fatima Bazzi

Music: “Ya Jaret El Wadi” by Mohammed Abdel Wahab & “Le Dernier Repas” by Jacques Brel

     

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