On July 12, 2006, another war breaks out in Lebanon.
Director Philippe Aractingi sees himself having to leave his motherland, Lebanon, to settle elsewhere for the third time in his life. While he and his family are evacuated to France on-board a military ship, he realizes that his ancestors have also been fleeing from wars or massacres for five generations now. All of them have been exiled at least once.
The idea for his new movie Heritages (Mirath) is born. Gripped by the burning desire to tell his own children the past that is “not to be told,” Philippe sets on a journey through History to understand and pass on its lessons. Here, his ancestors’ itinerary is confronted by that of Middle Eastern history: the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the French mandate, the creation of Israel, Pan-Arabism, the Lebanese civil war and beyond.
His exploration leads him to the universal questions: Can one find peace in exile? Should we unshackle ourselves from our heritage (Mirath) to be free?
Philippe takes a radical turn in his film-making career, and experiments with a light-hearted and playful style where members of his family enact their ancestors’ lives as well as their personal ones.
Throughout the seven chapters of this “autobiographical novel,” Philippe organically interlaces directed scenes and archive images with video-filmed personal diaries, family photos and super 8 reels. We are slowly drawn into this family novel set in moving pictures, as Philippe explores a distant and familiar Levant, always linking History (Mirath) to an intimate diary.
As he flees Lebanon again in July 2006, director Philippe Aractingi realizes that, like him, his ancestors have been fleeing wars and massacres for five generations. In a fresco where photos, archives and home videos of his children subtly interact, he tells the story of his family’s travels through the Levant. Heritages (Mirath) is a film about exile, memory and transmission, filled with emotion and honesty.
Philippe Aractingi, Diane Aractingi, Luc Aractingi, Matthieu Aractingi, Eve Aractingi, Andree Sultan, Michel Sultan. Guest Star: Mario Bassil
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