Suspended

Myriam El Hajj
Lebanon

Synopsis

For some years now, Lebanon has been crumbling under the burden of corruption and a past it has not faced. Nevertheless, on several occasions, change was still possible. In 2018, fifty-year-old Joumana ran as an independent candidate against the ex-warlords turned politicians in legislative elections. She was quickly ousted through electoral fraud. Twenty years old Perla-Joe, became vocal against the status quo and the corruption leading her to develop into a main figure of the revolution in 2019. These two women find themselves facing men like Georges, an octogenarian who fought in the Civil War. Disillusioned yet stubborn, he remains attached to a fantasized version of his past. Will Joumana and Perla manage to confront Georges’s generation that is refusing to give space to the youth? While Georges clings to idealised exploits that contributed to Lebanon’s fall, Joumana and Perla cling on to hope in a country that is devastated by a fierce economic crisis and one of the biggest explosions of the century.

Documentary
Director of photography

Jihad Saade, Myriam El Hajj, Mohamed Siam

Editor

Anita Perez

Music Composer

Elia El Haddad (Sound Engineer)

Main Cast

Joumana Haddad, Perla-Joe Maalouli, Georges Moufarrej

Production

Abbout Productions (Lebanon)
Myriam Sassine
myriam@abboutproductions.com

Director’s statement

Suspended arises from the necessity of communication about intimate and universal questions: How can we change the nation in which we live? How can we find our place in a country that is haunted by a past that continues to pollute the present, and that is facing a revolution that has only just begun? How might we shake up a decaying political system that has been in place for over thirty years? When the idea of this project began to nag at me, I did not know that a mere two years later, Lebanon would collapse. Positive change was still possible, but it would have to be put into effect very quickly. We were at a turning point in our history. Through Georges, Joumana and Perla-Joe, I seek to question the past and observe the struggle these three go through to ensure a better future. Until history is written, it will be difficult for anyone to change the world – or even to see a future for themselves. 

Biographies

Myriam El Hajj
Myriam El Hajj
Director

Myriam El Hajj is a Lebanese director and actor. Her feature-length documentary film, A Time to Rest (2015), had its premiere at Visions du réel Festival and won several awards, including the Prix Découverte de la SCAM. At present, El Hajj is developing her second documentary, while also working on a fiction feature titled Commedia. Alongside her film activities, she teaches cinema at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. She is a member of several film commissions, among them Aide aux cinémas du monde and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. She is currently a resident artist at the Cité des Arts in Paris.

Myriam Sassine
Myriam Sassine
Producer

Myriam Sassine joined the Lebanese production company Abbout Productions in 2010. Notable production credits include Oualid Mouannes’s 1982 (2019), which was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Ahmad Ghossein’s All This Victory (2019), which was selected for the Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival. Sassine has also produced several feature-length documentaries, including Myriam El Hajj’s A Time to Rest (2015), which was selected for Visions du Réel; Rana Eid’s Panoptic (2017), which was presented at the Locarno Festival; and Mohamed Siam’s Amal (2017), which was featured at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. In 2016, she co-founded the Beirut-based Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival.

Total budget

€223 616

Financing secured

€60 954

Partners attached

Lebanese Ministry of Culture

Shooting period and locations

May 2018 till June 2021, Lebanon

Expected delivery

October 2022

Stage of post-production

50% of the movie has been shot

Looking for

Funds, distributors, festivals, co-producers

Pitch

Other Films in production or post-production