Production Facts

  • Director: Ziad Doueiri
  • Featuring: Rami Doueiri, Mohammed Chamas, Rola Al Amin
  • Camera: Ricardo Jaques Gale
  • Producer: Jean Bréhat & Rachid Bouchareb
  • Co-producer:Bjørn Eivind Aarskog
  • Editor: Dominique Marcombe
  • Music: Jeff Seitz
  • Language: Arabic / French
  • Sound format: Dolby Digital surround
  • Duration: 1 houre 45 min
  • Production year: 1998

West Beyrouth

105 min feature

by: Ziad Doueiri
produced by 3b productions


With laughter and tears, enticingly accompanied by stewart copeland's (x-police) music, the movie follow alongside the three friends' slow awakening to the nightmares of the adult world, culminating with the Israeli invasion of 1982. Visually vital, almost wild, but with compassion and humour, "west beyrouth" will ascertain you with the beauty of life, despite all the wars and all the sorrows that continue to haunt us. the fact that former arch-enemies of wartime beyrouth can sit in the same movie theatre and laugh together of their own stupidities, is proof of how well this movie works.

And, after seeing the movie, maybe both you and the former soldiers will have a thought telling you that laughter might bring us further than the bullets do ...

This is a movie you ought to see, not only because we think you may have a professional experience in seeing a movie from lebanon, but because it's a good, and not to forget, a funny movie !
for many people, beyrouth is synonymous with an inferno of blood and grenades. ziad doueiri, the director who grew up in beyrouth during the seventies, remembers it differently

For him - tareq in the movie - and to other youngsters in wartime beyrouth, "freedom" is what they remember. free from school, the freedom to explore the crazy world of the adults, and most important: the freedom to explore their own, secret urges of adolescence.

For the two boys, the most tragic consequence of the war is that the only photo-shop that develops super-8 film is situated on the other side of the "green line", which divides beyrouth in two. the three friends find it impossible to cross the line of fire, but when tareq by coincidence discovers that the whorehouse in the eastern part of beyrouth, also caters to the warriors of the western side, happiness is near...

"...vital and full of well observed human touches"
- Variety

oscar candidate (academy awards) 1998

toronto international film festival 1998 - international critics´ award( FIPRESCI) ziad doueiri (tied with praise)
valladolid international film festival 1998 - youth jury award - ziad doueiri
valladolid international film festival 1998 - nominated: golden spike - ziad doueiri
taipei international film festival 1998 - grand jury award

carthage international film festival 1998 - best first film - ziad doueiri
brussels international film festival 1998 - public award
fribourg international film festival 1999 - saa script award - ziad doueiri