The play was turned into a film as part of a collaboration between M (m.media) and Mercury Content, with the blessing of Ziad Rahbani himself, who needed some convincing to jump on board. “We started with ‘Bennesbeh Labokra, Chou?’ and this is the second play of Ziad Rahbani’s plays to be turned into a movie. We have been convincing him for years, maybe around 10 years, until four years ago we got the approval to use the footage that were filmed on a “Super 8” camera”, explained Head of Content Programming at M Media, Mr. Moe Hamzeh.
It was no easy task to digitize the footage of the play and turn it into a film. Just like its predecessor, ‘Bennesbeh Labokra, Chou?’ ,‘Film Ameriki Tawil’ went through a tedious process to ensure the best possible sound and visual quality. “We had more time with this film to rework more on the sound, there was more tweaking involved, and it is more enhanced than the film movie”, said Hamzeh.
‘Film Ameriki Tawil’ is one of Rahbani’s most acclaimed works, winning over Lebanese listeners from all sorts of backgrounds, sects, and ideologies. 36 years after it made its stage debut at Jean D’arc Theater, the content of this play still resonates with its audience in 2016. As Moe Hamzeh put it, “Ziad Rahbani’s work is a very good diagnosis of Lebanese society”. With all the pain and suffering our country and its citizens have gone through, it seems that we have unfortunately not learned from the past and continue to make the same mistakes.
The film will be out in all major cinemas across Lebanon starting October 20, 2016, and we highly recommend watching it!