“My Last Valentine in Beirut”, a 3D movie that successfully drove me out of the theater within 15 minutes of its beginning, i was so furious; and i still am. Not only was it absolutely trashy but it had no coherence as well. I agree that Lebanese movies revolve around wars too much, but are we really this handicapped as to exponentially assume that prostitution and pornography are war’s opposites ?
This movie was a war in itself, i felt violated while watching it, not because i am watching a movie about a prostitute, but because it was the first time a prostitute is portrayed as a woman who loves what is done to her. A prostitute that wants every man she meets and meets every need he has; a prostitute with no intellect and no emotions. This movie is wishful thinking; it depicts a male fantasy of what a prostitute’s life is like. It depicts a constantly horny woman with many clients, who sleeps with her best friend’s husband cold heatedly. I got shy watching scene after scene, not only was i ashamed but i felt mocked and laughed at. I felt disrespected and humiliated. Is our Lebanese cinema industry so void of content as to resort to pornography to sell?
Many might say that it is a true social story; well even if it is a true social story, must we endorse it and sell it to the minds of Lebanese and foreign individuals? It is no lie that Lebanese women are now directly correlated with sex and prostitution, as though local women have no real worth but their “Lebanese beauty and infamous sexual drive”. I speak about it because i personally experienced this on one of my travels in Europe. I happened to be asking for directions and as the person i was talking to discovered i was Lebanese, the conversation turned into him asking me whether i would go over to his apartment and belly dance for him and his friends. Enough said, i ended up running away in the wrong direction.
Back to the movie, Necrophilia is not something to portray in a movie as well. It is a sickness and a disrespectful notion; never should it be shown to populations who can barely contain their sexual frustration towards living people. So again, big NO. I honestly found this movie insulting as a female on every single level. And that was only the first 15 minutes.
I must say, that i am not in denial that such issues exist, but the problem is that so many other issues exist in Lebanon, why must we always revolve around the sleaziest and most appalling forms of social disintegration. I am even surprised that this movie was approved. Note, i wouldn’t be surprised if it is shown on a porn site, but for mass production? ; excuse me, and surely excuse yourself for sinking so low artistically and creatively as to lose sight of what real and tasteful production means.
I honestly and soulfully try to love this country, i hurt myself in order to approve of it and what it offers, but it is so hard to do so. I feel as though intellect has no place here, it is laughed upon and criticized, it is put in schools and locked there. If the purpose of the movie was to tell us that Lebanon can only produce war and sex, then “touché” the message is heard. I apologize for i should have stayed in the theater and accepted mind rape and principal damage as a form of entertainment. I should have clapped upon the end because it is a Lebanese movie and it is in 3D. I should have written that anyone who hasn’t watched it yet, is closed minded and rejecting of freedom. I should have advertised that we are finally catching up with European independent movies, because we have no real stories of our own, and imitation is how we breathe.
I am ashamed honestly, not because of the movie itself, and not because i personally took myself, sat there and watched it. I am ashamed and dishonored by the disappointment, that we have nothing else to offer anymore. We as Lebanese are hypocrites to the core and teenagers in our conceptual thinking. I could not sit and continue watching something, that can only be categorized as nasty pornography and a pure insult to any thinking creature with an ability to walk on two legs.
No one is responsible enough, or accountable enough to set a proper example for younger people. I came out scarred yesterday mentally, and emotionally; and i am not afraid to say that it tapped on many of my insecurities. It is not okay to advertise such lifestyle and such scenes that purely maintain an animal approach to humans. We already established that in our movies about wars, now we establish it in our movies about sex.
Happy sixty ninth independence day. An existential oxymoron in itself.