Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 5 December 2020

'Keep talking about Beirut': Nadine Labaki and Cate Blanchett urge viewers to fight for the truth in new video

The Lebanese filmmaker enlisted the Australian actress for a short clip, which pleads with the world to remember those still suffering

Nadine Labaki, left, and Cate Blanchett are keeping the conversation about Beirut alive with a new short video. Getty Images
Nadine Labaki, left, and Cate Blanchett are keeping the conversation about Beirut alive with a new short video. Getty Images

She's known for stirring portrayals of society in her award-winning films, but Nadine Labaki's latest work might be her most harrowing yet.

The Lebanese director has unveiled a short film that urges viewers to remember the people of Lebanon, more than three months after an explosion ravaged the city of Beirut.

The filmmaker enlisted Australian actress Cate Blanchett for the clip, which runs a little more than two minutes and is titled Keep Talking About Beirut.

"This is not another day in the Middle East," narrates the Ocean's 8 and Thor: Ragnorok actress as footage of the blast, taken from CCTV cameras, mobile phones and TV channels, plays in sombre black and white.

"This is not a natural disaster. This is a man-made disaster, the most powerful non-nuclear explosion of the 21st century."

The explosion, which occurred when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonated after a fire in Beirut port on August 4, killed more than 200 people, injured 6,000 more, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

"It destroyed hospitals and schools, it disfigured and mutilated faces, bodies and souls forever," states Blanchett.

Such injustice cannot be allowed in this day and age, when each of us has a voice

Cate Blanchett, 'Keep Talking About Beirut'

"This explosion did not happen at a time of war, it happened at a time when people thought they were safe in their homes."

The video's footage also contains scenes of the aftermath, with buildings destroyed and residents bloodied in the streets.

The clip urges viewers to keep Lebanon in discussions and ensure its people are "not forgotten".

"The people of Lebanon deserve the truth. What happened in Beirut is a crime against all humanity; it concerns me, it concerns you, it concerns all of us," says Blanchett.

"This is not a political battle, this is a moral and ethical battle. Such injustice cannot be allowed in this day and age, when each of us has a voice."

The video, which was posted on Thursday, November 19, across Labaki and Blanchett's social media channels, aims to shine a spotlight on the plight of those still suffering in the aftermath.

Thanking the actress for taking part in the collaboration, Labaki added that her "voice is reminding the world that what happened in Lebanon concerns all humanity".

"Thank you to all the heroes and journalists who captured the brutality of the disaster through their lenses," added the Capernaum director.

This is not the first initiative Labaki is involved with after the disaster. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker also took part in an online performance designed to revive Beirut's theatre scene earlier this month, performing a monologue on the night.

Updated: November 19, 2020 04:43 PM

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