“Finding My Lebanon”, a short film by Mark Abouzeid, began as a discovery of his own heritage, his Lebanese heritage. It began with an interview of his Father, George Aziz Abouzeid: renowned businessman, financier, political influencer; ex-director of AIG, successful, Lebanese emigrant. Four months before he died of pancreatic cancer, his father shared with him for the first time stories about his roots, his family and the role they have played in Lebanese history. He gifted Mark me a history to explore and culture to discover.
Three weeks after his funeral, I found myself in downtown Beirut for the first time, sitting at a bohemian bar, debating and laughing with new found friends…people like me, who live life like me, who are each unique like me…and suddenly I wondered how much of who I was and how I lived was less my own experience and more my Lebanese culture.Mark Abouzeid, Filmmaker
His father had never spoken of Lebanon so how could Mark have been raised to embrace life in the same way, to honour the same values and to know unquestioningly that family was the most important thing in this world …the central wheel around which Lebanon revolves/evolves.
The resulting film is the story of a “modern nomad”, the kind of man who was raised without any knowledge of his roots, his past, his heritage. Before his father died, Mark Abouzeid interviewed him on their family history and for the first time his past was revealed to him through stories, pictures and never met before family members.
The film captures the lives of three men: the grandfather who left, the father who died and the son who returned to discovery his ‘home’…and the Lebanon he found.
In 2016, the short film premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival as part of the Creative Minds Group screening. Since it has been received laurels from film festivals in the U.S., France, Italy, India, Australia and Lebanon.
An interesting film about seasoned director Mark Abouzeid’s personal discovery of finding his Lebanese roots.
“A Sneak Peak at the 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival” by Reyne Hirsch, Huffington Post, 05/06/2016
After the death of his father, Abouzeid was determined to learn more about his heritage. He traveled to Lebanon to learn more about the country, it’s culture and it’s church, as seen through the eyes of his father.
For more information or watch the trailer, see https://filmfreeway.com/findingmylebanon.