The Insult: An Authentic One (Review)


A new Lebanese movie is currently showing in Lebanese movie theaters, and is taking everyone’s breath away: The Insult by Ziad Doueiri.


You’ve probably read a lot of reviews, Facebook statuses by critics and posts by media outlets about this movie and specifically about Doueiri’s controversial ways of practicing his job. However, whether you are pro or anti Doueiri, there is one word to be said about this film that everyone seems to be agreeing on: authenticity.

“Despite everything, I don’t feel resentful,” said Doueiri.


After receiving an international award and recognition for The Insult at the Venice Film Festival, Doueiri was detained upon his arrival to Lebanon this month. This was due to filming his previous movie, The Attack, in Israel.


“I have nothing to say to the audience. Come watch the movie, and judge for yourself,” he added.


Doueiri then explained that he was very satisfied with the appreciation he received with his crew at the Venice Film Festival. He elaborated a bit on the idea of the plot.


“The plotline is the result of my life and Joelle Touma’s (the writer) life. During the war, she lived in Bikfaya where the Christian Phalange party was taking charge of the region, and I was living in west Beirut where the Leftist National Movement was defending my region,” he stated.


Apparently, this is what makes it authentic. When two outstanding Lebanese writers with different points of view collaborate in the name of art, Lebanon rises above all other countries and receives international acknowledgement.


“This movie is the long-awaited Lebanese parties’ reconciliation that we’ve all been rooting for,” said MP Nadim Gemayel. “Personally, I am totally against what happened to Ziad Doueiri upon his arrival to Lebanon. Additionally, in general I am against punishing artists like Doueiri for their work especially that he is always objective in his movies,” he added.


We were also able to get a closer shot of the main character Adel Karam. He said that he considers Doueiri to be bigger than all the gossip that has been going on about him.


“It has been a big pleasure for me to be the main actor in this movie and to work with such an honorable director,” he added.


Karam is infamous for being pro Lebanese Forces, and when asked to what extent Tony (the pro Lebanese Forces character he portrays in the film) resembles him, he denied the resemblance in character and said that the only way Tony resembles him is physically.


“To everyone who still hasn’t watched the movie, I say go see it now! Do not listen to what is being said about the film or the director. Go see for yourself,” he added.

I second Karam. The movie has been released in less than a week, and I’ve already seen it twice and aiming for a third time. You would want to show this film to your parents and to the older generation especially if you know some families divided over politics. They’d come out of the movie willingly capable of turning the page and starting a new chapter.


It is not just another Lebanese movie about war. Frankly, I don’t see it about war itself rather about the creation of the Lebanese mentality that we talk about today in our daily life. It is an answer to why your parents undergo a mini heart attack every time you tell them you are going to west Beirut if you’re Christian, and to east Beirut if you’re Muslim.


In the end, I’d like to say that I finally see a change in our generation’s mentality thanks to The Insult. It is true that we are still divided, and that we still follow leaders blindly, but our aggression towards others has drastically shrunk.


The final look exchanged between Lebanese Tony and Palestinian Yasser in the movie refueled my hope.

 by Miriam Atallah

For photos click here.




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