Children of the Sun

Inspired by the late Lebanese painter and poet Etel Adnan, this Spotlight oscillates between the sociopolitical geographies of Palestine and Lebanon, whose histories intertwine with deep and harrowing complexity. In this lineup, Palestinian and Lebanese directors turn to cinematic inquiry as they traverse politics and power cuts, landscapes and loss, migration and water, revolution and war.

As of this writing, the devastation in Palestine continues. In response to annihilatory rhetoric describing Palestinians as "children of darkness," this Spotlight offers a favourite motif and reclamation in Adnan's work as a descriptor instead: Children of the Sun.


Bye Bye Tiberias
Lina Soualem, Palestine/Qatar/Belgium/France, 2023, 82 mins

Director Lina Soualem reconstructs a history of four generations of Palestinian women in her family from home videos and footage from both the present day and archival sources. Scenes of urban and familial life from before and after the Nakba of 1948 are woven together with personal narratives—stories kept alive despite exile, dispossession and heartbreak. Poignantly and beautifully arranged, Bye Bye Tiberias is the replanting of a family tree (up)rooted in occupied land.

For screening times, click here.


Diaries from Lebanon
Myriam El Hajj, Lebanon/France/Qatar/Saudi Arabia, 2024, 110 mins

An introduction to the modern history of Lebanon as seen through the eyes of three impassioned citizens, Diaries from Lebanon cinematically surveys three modes of (re)action for a nation seeking change: war, politics or revolution. From the Lebanese Civil War of 1975 to the Beirut port explosion of 2020, director Myriam El Hajj traces recent events to reveal the underlying political corruption, national trauma and protest of a country—and people—in flux.

For screening times, click here.


Elefsina Notre Amour
Mahdi Fleifel, Greece, 2023, 9 mins

A fleet of abandoned ships dot the shores of Greece's Elefsina port. Looming out of the water like maritime ghosts, they are what Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel calls "the neglected refugees of Elefsina." Visually and sonically immersive, Elefsina Notre Amour is a haunting inquiry into the (hi)stories of migration left untold.

For screening times, click here.


Life is Beautiful
Mohamed Jabaly, Norway/Palestine/UK, 2023, 93 mins

In 2014, Palestinian director Mohamed Jabaly was touring his films in Norway when the border to his home in Gaza closed indefinitely. Urgently turning to his host country for residency, Jabaly instead found himself at the centre of a bureaucratic process that did not recognize his homeland nor his filmmaking as legitimate. Refusing to be put in a box, Jabaly turned his camera on himself in order to define his identity, find his future, and reclaim his story.

For screening times, click here.


Sarcophagus of Drunken Loves
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Lebanon/France, 2024, 8 mins

In Lebanon, power cuts are the rule rather than the exception. But as co-directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige observe one summer day, this does not deter residents from visiting the National Museum of Beirut, where they navigate the institution with light from their phones. Illuminating the relics of Lebanon's past with mobile lights, Sarcophagus of Drunken Loves is a sly commentary on the country's dim(inishing) present.

For screening times, click here.


The Secret Garden
Nour Ouayda, Canada/Lebanon, 2023, 27 mins

Delightfully narrated through eight chapters, The Secret Garden is a poetic investigation into the sudden, bewildering appearance of mysterious plants in an unnamed city. Scaling up buildings and winding through streets, Nour Ouayda's experimental film follows two friends in their search for the plants' origins, all the while suspecting their secrets lie over the garden wall at the city's edge.

For screening times, click here.


A Short Film About a Chair
Ibrahim Handal, Palestine, 2024, 10 mins

Amidst pandemic and apartment living, a lonely chair on a balcony is watched by an observant photographer living next door. The photographer muses day and night until the chair's life is changed forever. A playful and irreverent view overlooking a vibrant neighbourhood.

For screening times, click here.


View the full DOXA 2024 program.