The film Under the Bombs falls in the drama genre and is set in Lebanon at the end of the Lebanon War experienced in 2006. It is directed by Philippe Aractingi. Additionally, it is scripted by both Philippe Aractingi and Michel Léviant. In particular, the film features two main actors: Zeina Nasrueddi (Nada Abou Farhat) and Tony (Georges Khabbaz). Upon analyzing the character development, intended audience, music / sound track, the audience can come to the main theme of the motion picture.
Basically, the film revolves around a Shiite woman, Zeina, who comes from Dubai to Lebanon in search of her six-year-old son and sister in the middle of a war between Lebanon and Israel. During a moment of the ceasefire, she hires a taxi driver, Tony who happens to help her get to the war-torn southern Lebanese countryside in search of her son. Nonetheless, the turmoil they experience together in their quest enlightens them about human resiliency.
Ideally, the film primarily serves to educate the audience on the negative effects of conflict in the society such as loss of family (lives). Moreover, it aims to highlight and bridge the gap between the societal barriers. For example, despite Zeina being a Shiite and Tony a Christian, they joined together towards a common course of their religious beliefs notwithstanding. In addition, the theme of sacrifice is clearly advocated. For instance, it would have been possible for Zeina to be complacent and adamant to remain in Beirut. Furthermore, even her husband did not join in the search. Nevertheless, she sacrificed herself and her comfort; additionally, she was even ready to lose her own life by going into an active war zone.
Initially, the viewer sees Zeina as a desperate woman whose only focus is on her missing kin. Consequently, she directs all her efforts towards this course, and along the way she comes across Tony. In essence, her character evolves to the viewer when she longs for male attention, especially from the taxi driver. In brief, the audience is made to understand that her husband could not make it to Lebanon with her as he was busy with business meetings. On the other hand, Tony is a simple man who wants to make money from a client and probably try his luck in winning her for romance. Notably, the film depicts this metamorphosis of Tony being personally involved in the mission at hand so much that when the opportunity for being intimate with Zeina presents itself, he just tosses it aside. Basically, he continues his search for his missing family members.
Ideally, the film is directed across all members of the society but most especially of the people in a position to prevent wars from happening. The suffering of an innocent parent and all her physical and emotional distress could have been easily avoided if simply there were no war. However, a strong message is to the general population where the director advocates for a personal commitment to those who need help, not discriminating them along societal barriers, as depicted by a Christian driver assisting a Shiite client.
Music / Sound Track
In addition, the film makes great use of music and its soundtrack blends perfectly with the unfolding events. However, the film’s greatest asset is the use of live human and war noises in the film. Honestly, the screams of women and the wailing of the babies as the buildings are bombed and shots fired are reason enough for meditation. Moreover, the soundtrack offers a heightened moment of tension, especially in the instances where Zeina is anxiously asking for her son. In general, this helps in carrying the audiences’ emotions, further resulting in them placing themselves into Zeina’s position of despair, agony, and frustration.
In brief, the director touches a much-needed nerve in the film by explicitly portraying how destabilized systems become once wars rock the society. For example, there is no length to which a mother will not go and no dangers are too great in trying to find a lost child during times of war. Additionally, the uniting of humanity without regarding societal barriers is a strong message, especially in the present day where fault lines are drawn deep along the existent cultural, religious, racial and social class diversities.
Moreover, the moral lesson of absentee parenthood responsibility is brought to light. For instance, Zeina’s husband was supposed to have laid aside all his business meetings to join in his son’s search. Actually, he should have spearheaded the efforts himself. Importantly, his reluctance to do so is synonymous with the parents who fail to meet their parental responsibilities. Zeina’s resilience can also not go unnoticed. Basically, she, being the main protagonist in the film, bears all this ‘baggage’ which more often than not could weigh her downs; however, her determination and optimism are unwavering. Importantly, the film showcases the use of empathy, sound, and music in enabling the audience to relate to a movie. Noteworthy, these are important lessons that movie makers can use in their film productions. Furthermore, the audience, especially those facing calamities, can learn that truly every dark cloud harbors a silver lining.
Under the Bombs. Dir. Aractingi Philippe. Perfs. Chabalie Herve, Cohen-Seat Francois, Mangalon Henri and Raphael Paul. 2007. DVD. Lions Gate Films, 2010.