Burning thoughts from Lebanon

You may have already figured that my favorite pastime activity is crocheting and watching movies at the same time. Audiobooks and podcasts are great too, but the visual appeal of films is unbeatable.

Recently, I watched the Canadian film Incendies. It competed for the Oscar of best foreign language film last year, but didn’t win. Biutiful was in the same category by the way. Incendies is based on a play by Wajdi Mouawad, a Lebanese-Canadian writer.

Living in Finland, it’s sometimes hard to remember how life can be, or has been in the past. Despite our class divisions to those less fortunate and those who have and always will have plenty, our life is safe in just about every way. No wars, no hunger, no draughts, no natural disasters, good social security networks, free education.

Watching Incendies brought my social conscience awake loud and clear. I’m pretty confident it never sleeps, but sometimes the easy everyday life in Finland muffles its whispers. Without giving away the plot, I’ll say the movie has managed to melt together the horrid religious wars, violence against women, exceptional courage of individuals and the importance of belonging somewhere or having roots in other people or societies. The film does not say where the story is set, but history can help place it in Lebanon of the 1970’s when the civil war broke out.

It’s not an easy film, but good quality drama. The word incendie in French refers to fire and burning. Be prepared to face your own thoughts when watching the film. When I woke up the next morning, the story was the first thing on my mind. And still lingers.

♦ In the meantime: There’s a photo exhibition in the Finnish museum of photography about the division of Helsinki. East West battle of money and wealth. I’ll check out the exhibition today and share the experience in a later posting.

♠ Song of the day: Calogero, Fais comme tu veux

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