HÉRITAGES (MIRATH) – 2014
On July 12, 2006, another war breaks out in Lebanon.
Director Philippe Aractingi sees himself having to leave his motherland to settle elsewhere for the third time in his life. While he and his family are evacuated to France onboard 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 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 to be free?
Philippe takes a radical turn in his filmmaking 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 to an intimate diary.
Directed by Philippe Aractingi
Written by Diane and Philippe Aractingi
Executive Producers: Dolce Vita Films and Fantascope Production
Associate Producers: Ina, Amka Films and RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera