A Perfect Day

Please log in to watch films (restrictions may apply)

  1. Extra

    A Perfect Day

    Directed by

    • Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige

    France, Lebanon, Germany

    2005

    88 min

    • Arabic

    Stuck in a traffic jam, Malek catches a fleeting glance of the beautiful Zeina the woman he loves. Tapping text messages into his mobile phone he desesperately tries to get through to her, but she no longer wants to see him. She vanishes into the throng of midday Beirut traffic. The young man has a syndrome which interrupts his breathing during sleep. Whenever he stops moving, he dozes off adding to his disorientation. His mother Claudia has still not accepted his father’s disappearance after 15 years. She stays at home should her husband return, Malek drives around the city alone in his car. Each of them trying to live with a void of lost love. But today may be the “perfect day” to lay their ghosts to rest. Malek is taking his hesitant mother to declare her husband officially dead in the “absence of a body”. And that evening, in a trendy nightclub where the young of Beirut go to dance and forget their troubles, Zeina looks ready to give Malek a second shot at the love he so yearns for.

    Credits

    Cast
    Ziad Saad
    Julia Kassar
    Alexandra Kahwagi
    Rabih Mroué
    Carole Schoucair
    Joseph Nader
    Pascale Sekkar
    Joseph Sassine
    Screenplay
    Zeina Saab de Melero
    Cinematography
    Jeanne Lapoirie
    Editing
    Tina Baz Le gal
    Music
    Scrambled Eggs: Charbel Haber
    Marc Codsi
    Tony Elieh
    Said EliehSoap Kills
    Zeid Hamdan & Yasmine Hamdan

    Director's Statement

    This is a personal story. The uncle of Khalil is one of the 17,000 persons reported missing in Lebanon during the war. They left their homes one morning, one evening, and never came back. Where are they ? Beirut is a small city in the midst of reconstruction, the ground is constantly being excavated and yet nothing has been found. No mass graves, no traces. For us, the trauma of disappearance has not faded with time. It is an abyss, a chasm, and at the same time a wealth of possibilities. Is it necessary to forget, or to the contrary, by denying our phantoms do we risk denying ourselves, becoming like the living-dead who no longer see, no longer hear, and no longer feel? It is also the story of a generation, ours, which Malek belongs to. Young people with humdrum existences who let themselves be carried along the daily life. Trapped between the guilt of a dark past that is difficult to assume and the anguish of an uncertain future in a politically unstable region, how can they live in the present, love, construct, find their place in society? Things are in a state of latency, the present is hard to live in, or else lived out “hysterically” in the nights of Beirut, nights where people go out to forgot themselves, lose themselves. They go to clubs and bars in search of a community, to try to find a rhythm, to reclaim their bodies and those of others. It is a film shot in the cut. Reality is not reconstituted. On the contrary, we decided to insert ourselves into reality, filming in public places in a documentary-like manner. At times the shots are stolen, provoked. We created situations to capture this energy, to enable the story to come to pass. A perfect day is a film about sensations, atmosphere, mind frames, wrong tracks and vivid situations in the fascinating and paradoxal town that is Beirut today.

    Production
    ABBOUT PRODUCTIONS
    Joana Hadjithomas

    Joana Hadjithomas

    Lebanon

    Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are filmmakers and artists who work on fiction films, documentaries, art installations and photography. Their artworks and films have been extensively shown in museums and art centres around the world. They teach film at many universities. Hadjithomas and Joreige are co-founders of the production company Abbout Productions and are on the executive board of Metropolis Art Cinema in Beirut. They have co-directed several award-winning films that have also been distributed around the world.
    Documentaries include: THE LOST FILM (2003), KHIAM 2000-2007 (2008), THE LEBANESE ROCKET SOCIETY: THE STRANGE TALE OF THE LEBANESE SPACE RACE (2013).
    Fiction features include: AROUND THE PINK HOUSE (1999), A PERFECT DAY (2005, FIPRESCI Prize at Locarno FF) and I WANT TO SEE (2008, DIFF), which premiered at Cannes.

    Selected Filmography

    Khalil Joreige

    Khalil Joreige

    Lebanon

    Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are filmmakers and artists who work on fiction films, documentaries, art installations and photography. Their artworks and films have been extensively shown in museums and art centres around the world. They teach film at many universities. Hadjithomas and Joreige are co-founders of the production company Abbout Productions and are on the executive board of Metropolis Art Cinema in Beirut. They have co-directed several award-winning films that have also been distributed around the world. Documentaries include: THE LOST FILM (2003), KHIAM 2000-2007 (2008), THE LEBANESE ROCKET SOCIETY: THE STRANGE TALE OF THE LEBANESE SPACE RACE (2013). Fiction features include: AROUND THE PINK HOUSE (1999), A PERFECT DAY (2005, FIPRESCI Prize at Locarno FF) and I WANT TO SEE (2008, DIFF), which premiered at Cannes.

    Selected Filmography