Christian Ghazi’s incendiary, avant-garde masterpiece A Hundred Faces for a Single Day ends with the send-off, “I don’t care when or how I will die, as long as there are armed men who will continue the march, shaking the earth with their uproar so that the world won’t sleep heavily over the bodies of the laborious, miserable and oppressed men.” Through this fiction-documentary hybrid film, Ghazi forged a strong critique of bourgeois society in Beirut during Lebanon’s Golden Age (which would end in 1975 with a gruelling and protracted civil war). An essay on labour, class, social relations and resistance, Ghazi considered the film his “manifesto on cinema”, a powerful and polemical work that reaches back to the early decades of film experimentation while pioneering radical techniques in multivalent sound, disjunctive montage and an embedded perspectives on direct action.

Selected by Artist in Profile Marwa Arsanios, who will introduce the film

The Lebanese documentarian’s films were so politically volatile that authorities burned them all. Left with no record of his decades of iconoclastic filmmaking, Ghazi received a surprise when a print of A Hundred Faces for a Single Day was found in an archive in Damascus, Syria by Lebanese filmmaker Remi Sabbagh. Sabbagh returned the print to Ghazi on the condition that he make another film. Coffin of the Memory premiered at the 2001 Docudays International Film Festival in Beirut, where he was given a lifetime achievement award. Nadi Lekol Nas, an organisation founded to preserve, promote and distribute Lebanese and Arabic cultural production, hopes to locate and restore more of Ghazi’s films in the coming years. — Herb Shellenberger

Christian Ghazi

Christian Ghazi (1934–2013, born Antioch, Turkey; died Beirut, Lebanon) was a Lebanese filmmaker. Throughout his career, his documentary and fiction films were considered subversive. His main filmmaking period stretches from the early 1960s through the 1980s, though all except for two of his films are currently destroyed or lost.

Filmography

Only two of Christian Ghazi's films are currently extant:
Coffin of the Memory (2001), A Hundred Faces for a Single Day (1971)

Nadi Lekol Nas has compiled titles or descriptions of his films which have been destroyed:
A Fighter in the Rain (1983), [Four feature documentaries about the conditions of those displaced by three civil wars in Lebanon] (1982),[Two feature documentaries about people left on their own on the front lines during the war] (1980), [Feature documentary about the Hadhramaut region] (circa 1970s), [Feature documentary about Kurdistan] (circa 1970s), [Three feature documentaries about the profound causes of Lebanese ailing] (1978), Death in Lebanon (1976), [Feature documentary about the so-called 'misery belt' around Beirut] (1976), [Feature documentary about old tobacco cultivators in Lebanon] (1974), [Feature documentary about rural emigration to the city] (1972), The Other Face of the Refugees (two feature documentaries, 1971), Tobacco Plantation Workers in the South (1970), Life in the Camps (four feature documentaries, 1970), Why the Resistance? (five short documentaries, 1969), [Documentary about the Jordanian city of Petra] (1968), Al Fedayoun (1967), Tourism and Touristic Places (twelve short documentaries, 1964), Rachana (1962)