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Martyr

Country: Lebanon | Italy, Language: Arabic, 80 mins

Original Title

Žrtva
  • Director: Mazen Khaled
  • Writer: Mazen Khaled
  • Producer: Diala Kachmar

CGiii Comment

Indeed...no doubt, a film that will polarise every audience.

More homo-suggestive than homoerotic, more closted than in-your-face homosexual, this is a life where the simplest of actions [a touch, a look, a proximity] speak louder than the loudest words, where reverence and respect are uttered with every greeting and farewell...after all, this is a culture that demands sexual subtlety.

Martyr is loaded with inference and bold parallels...in essence, what Mazen Khaled is saying is: You and I, we're not that different...for death is the greatest of all equalisers.

The narrative is simple enough...Hassane, a young, unemployed, Muslim man goes to the beach, fools around with his friends, takes a dive and drowns...his body is retrieved, transported and prepared for burial. As simple as it sounds, there is a profound complexity and dignity in the proceedings...there are the undercurrents of guilt and [that] forbidden love that flow throughout. Tableaux and parable...complimented by contemporary dance...bring this death to life. It's both deferential and visceral...challenging, affecting...and, artful.

It's succinct, it's subtle, it's surreal...it's [strangely] serene.


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The(ir) Blurb...

Boys in Beirut take dangerous dives in the sea as part of an initiation. A young man’s tragic death causes his friends to grapple with loss and to partake in his community’s rites and ceremonies, and exposes the city’s schisms and its society’s fault lines.

Cast & Characters

Carol Abboud;
Hadi Bou Ayash;
Moustafa Fahs;
Hamza Mekdad;
Raneem Mourad;
Rashad Nasreddine