Badran Roy Badran’s A Play Entitled Sehnsucht out in Lebanon

The surrealist tale of a mad astronomer set to the backdrop of the civil war is out in Lebanese cinemas

Industry, Lebanon

Badran Roy Badran’s A Play Entitled Sehnsucht out in Lebanon

Grace Barmaki interviewed Badran Roy Badran, the director of A Play Entitled Sehnsucht, for Agenda Culturel. Here are the highlights.

Badran grew up during the Lebanese civil war, a period whose fears and tensions he says are reflected in his film.

“The film […] gathers a number of psychological states related to the city of Beirut: trauma and isolation, desire and nostalgia for an ideal past.” 

“The claustrophobic world of  A Play Entitled Sehnsucht is no different from our daily experience as a Lebanese people, in which desire for comfort and security becomes a sterile paradise.”

And what of reality in this surrealist film directed over the course of five years? The director describes the film as a moving painting.

“The film fuses reality with strange fantasy through its main character, Bernard Zeidan, a Lebanese astronomer who is trapped in life and wants to escape it. This becomes clearer when dream and reality intertwine.”

“The main goal was to use image and sound in various combinations and juxtapositions to provoke a panoply of emotions and physiological states in the spectator […] I worked on manipulating sound to guide the spectator’s emotions, but without detracting from the image created by the music.”

The young director however leaves it up to his audience to decipher the film’s message. 

“I leave most images without explanation, so that they maintain their original power and multiple associations to the audience’s collective unconscious.”

“The film alone transmits the message, and the spectator has no other choice than to look in its details to make sense of it.”

A Play Entitled Sehnsucht - trailer:

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