“Memory Box” will represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars!

The film by Joana and Khalil Joreige, Memory Box, continues its success and rises to increasingly prestigious heights. He was selected to represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars ceremony. One more pride for the couple of filmmakers who carry, from film to film, the name of the country of Cedars. Joana Hadjithomas Joreige answers questions fromHere Beirut.

Joana and Khalil Joreige

1665072112 286 Memory Box will represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars

How does it feel to see Memory Box to represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars?

Memory Box is a very special film for us on many levels. It is first of all very personal (based on notebooks written daily for six years, from 1982 to 1988, to my best friend who went to live in Paris, and photos of Khalil taken during the same period). Then we shot it in 2019, just before the total collapse of Lebanon and the whole Covid-19 period. The film sought to transmit our teenage years, their intensity, but also all the 80s to our children, and it transformed itself to become a love letter to Lebanon and to cinema in these troubled and tragic times that we let’s cross. That this film, this letter, does not stop traveling to meet different audiences and that it finds itself today representing Lebanon at the Oscars naturally makes us very moved and proud to think that a certain cinema can continue to fully exist. And then, it’s also a way of paying tribute to the actors, to the producers, to our entire team. Filmmaking is a totally collaborative work, so it’s an opportunity to celebrate with everyone who made this film with us.

1665072112 98 Memory Box will represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars

What are your expectations around this event?

To be selected for the Oscars for the best foreign film is to find yourself in the company of – and in competition with films selected by all countries except the United States. So you imagine that the competitors are very numerous. But it’s also a way of continuing to bring the film to life, to share it, to show it and it’s always a great moment. Of course, we’d like to go as far as possible, but we always take competitions in the field of art or cinema with perspective and relativity. Here, the stakes are high because films in foreign languages, and more specifically in Arabic, exist very little (or not at all) in the United States. Cinema is what builds the imagination, what counters certain stereotypes, and it’s a good way to show a representation of ourselves, which emanates from us, which resembles us. Telling our stories also means reclaiming our history.

1665072112 850 Memory Box will represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars

What is the balance of Memory Box nowadays?

Memory Box began its competition journey in Berlin in March 2021, toured international festivals around the world and continues to do so. It was released in over 40 countries and ran for nine weeks in Lebanon, and it doesn’t stop.Memory Box escapes us and today, various generations, and particularly ours and that of our children, have appropriated the film. What is most touching are all the messages we receive from moviegoers who salute the formal audacity of the film, but above all from young Lebanese who thank us for having freed up a certain voice in their families. And that, for us, is priceless. We make our films and our works of art poetically, but also politically. And the echo caused by the film seems to us today to testify to the need to transmit and to continue despite everything to project oneself into a future which seems very fragile.

Subscribe to our newsletter

We would love to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this outstanding material

“Memory Box” will represent Lebanon at the 2023 Oscars!