During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a quaker school in the mountains above Beirut, 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her, while his teachers on different sides of the political divide, try to mask their fears. (written By: Toronto International Film Festival)
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In June of 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon which was already reeling from its ongoing civil war. In his feature debut, director Oualid Mouaness revisits this cataclysmic moment in Lebanese history through a different lens: a kid's point-of-view at a quaker school on the outskirts of Beirut. As the geopolitical conflict inches closer and closer, 11-year-old Wissam (Mohamad Dalli) is more intent on finding the courage to tell his classmate that he loves her. For a dreamer like Wissam, who is more likely to be drawing than playing football, it's hard to comprehend the gravity of the impending violence. But for his teachers, Yesmine (Nadine Labaki) and Joseph (Rodrigue Sleiman), the jets in the sky signal something greater. As they try to mask their growing fears for the sake of the students, they also attempt to hide the fractures in their relationship, as they fall on different sides of the political divide. Mouaness, who also wrote the script, splits the film between these two perspectives; that of the adults and that of the children. The result is a layered script that delicately explores the social schisms and the complexities of love and war. (written By: Toronto International Film Festival)
In this life affirming tale of resilience in which political and sectarian divides are challenged, love trumps war. A peace of sorts can be imagined if people are brave enough to look past their differences.
'1982' is the first film from Lebanon to address the polemic 1982 war. It is a necessary continuum in the discourse for peace that started with "Waltz With Bashir" (2008) and "Lebanon" (2009). There are no solutions in wars. They should be remembered in the hopes that history stops repeating itself. Our way forward is through a human understanding of our past.
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Oualid Mouaness is an award winning director, writer and producer. His work traverses narrative and documentary features, music films, music videos and commercials. If there’s one thing that can be said about his body of work: it is impactful and resonant. He looks for material that pushes art and message. The films he undertakes reach for social awareness and faith in humanity. He views film as a medium that changes hearts and minds.
Liberian born, and raised between Beirut and Monrovia, Mouaness brings understanding and a diverse nuance to his work. He is a Sundance Fellow and currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Beirut. He completed his undergraduate studies in journalism and theatre in Beirut, and holds an MFA in film from the Florida State University college of Motion Picture Arts.
His first feature film as director, 1982, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 where it won the NETPAC Award and went on to win the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at El-Gouna Film Festival in Egypt. The film was selected to represent Lebanon for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards 2020. It has since received much critical acclaim and won multiple awards at film festivals including France, China, Qatar and the United States. His first short film “The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf And The Boy” was Oscar shortlisted in 2017.
Mouaness is known for producing seminal music videos with artists David Bowie (The Stars & The Next Day), a video-record and an Emmy Nominated live concert performance for Annie Lennox (Nostalgia). Other music video works include Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, N.E.R.D, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Gnarls Barkley, Keith Urban, and Rihanna among others. He has been nominated for several VMA’s and CMA’s over the years.
He has produced nine feature length films (docs & features). Most notably, the indie film Kitchen Privileges (SXSW 2000) that he co-produced and edited and the acclaimed documentary ‘RIZE’ (Sundance 2005) which was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2006. In 2015, Mouaness produced the South African LAIFF Audience-Award-Winning impactful documentary 'I Am Thalente' directed by Natalie Johns and most recently the experiential documentary ‘Max Richter’s Sleep’ that had its world premiere at IDFA2019 and its North American premiere at SUNDANCE 2020.