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Memory Box
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Memory Box, dirs. Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige with Rim Turki, Manal Issa, Paloma Vauthier, Clémence Sabbagh & Hassan Akil, France / Lebanon / Canada / Qatar  2021, 100 min., Arabic and French with English subtitles, 15

Inspired by the real-life Beirut childhoods and memories of directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (A Perfect Day, The Lebanese Rocket Society), Memory Box is a compelling and hopeful exploration of what it is like to live through trauma and turmoil – and what it means to survive it.

It’s Christmas Eve in Montreal when an unexpected delivery arrives for single mother Maia (Rim Turkhi) and her teenage daughter Alex (Paloma Vauthier): a package of notebooks, tapes and photos that Maia sent from her Beirut home to her best friend Liza in Paris during the 1980s – the height of the Lebanese civil war. After Maia refuses to open the box, Alex secretly explores its contents – and in doing so, unearths the hidden histories of her mother’s past during at this most turbulent of times.
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