Birds of September
Birds of September (Touyour Ayloul)
A glassed van roams the streets of Beirut, home to a camera that explores the city behind the glass. Along the way, several people are invited to share a personal moment in this moving confessional. Each one comes as a face, a body, a posture, a voice, an attitude, an emotion, a point of view, a memory. Their confessions are true, blunt, and intimate. However, soon enough, the van empties again, and roams Beirut; restlessly looking for something, for someone.
documentary, Sarah Francis, Lebanon/Qatar 2013, 99 min, digital, Arabic with English or French subtitles
Production Sarah Francis in co-production with Doha Film Institute and the support of Screen Institute Beirut and AFAC | Editor Zeina Aboul Hosn, Farah Fayed | Camera Nadim Saoma | Sound Stephane Rives, Sarah Francis | Script Sarah Francis | Music Stephane Rives, Jawad Nawfal, Fadi Tabbal, Paed Conca
from the press
Although Beirut looms over these people’s shoulders at all times, Birds of September represents an unexpected technical variation on the “city symphony.” ...By opting for slow, steady pans (motivated by a car traveling at human walking speed), Francis emphasizes her interviewees’ nostalgia, not the dynamism of the city they live in. (Film Comment)
Each element is only partially graspable – it’s possible to focus on the words, the face or the city behind them, but usually never all at once. At times it feels like tapping into Beirut’s unconscious, the streets and sky merging with anxieties about work, relationships and religion. (Movie Morlocks)