Directed by Beirut-born Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Memory Box, a Canadian-Lebanese-French drama movie, will be released to the public on January 21st in cinemas and on digital platforms, and in France from January 19th.
The film had its worldwide premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in March 2021.
This storyline starts in Montreal where Alex (Paloma Vauthier) lives with her mother Maia (Rim Turki) and grandmother Teta (Clemence Sabbagh).
On one Christmas Eve, a huge box of notebooks, cassette tapes, and photographs arrives from France, all memorabilia that Maia had sent from Beirut to her friend Liza in Paris while the Lebanese civil war was raging.
Afraid of the painful memories and secrets buried in the memorabilia, the mother and grandmother forbid Alex from looking at the box’s contents.
Yet Alex dives in and learns, in a series of flashbacks, how her back-then teenage mother got obsessed with guys and her looks and partied throughout the constant bombings and militia-run checkpoints during the Lebanese civil war.
The script is written by Gaëlle Macé, Joana Hadjithomas, and Khalil Joreige and the cast include Rim Turki, Manal Issa, Paloma Vauthier, Clemence Sabbagh, and Hassan Akil.
The movie, which was produced by Abbout Production, is a reflection of Hadjithomas’s experience with the civil war since most of the letters and mixtapes are originally hers.
Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas have produced several movies before, such as ISMYRNA, The Lebanese Rocket Society (which received many awards), Khiam, I Want To See (awarded Best Singular Film at Cannes Film Festival), and Open The Door, Please, among others.