Monika Borgmann on Lebanon’s collective amnesia

Just quick post to direct Media Shack’s readers to have a look at this interviewwith Monika Borgmann, a German filmmaker and activist based in Beirut.

I’m referencing this interview as a follow-up to a discussionwhich took place a few weeks ago between one of readers and myself, regarding what he considered to be my excessively harsh criticism of Lebanon and what I qualified as its wilful blindness to its own past when I wrote about the Israeli film “Waltz with Bashir”. One of the comments we received mentioned a documentary film by Monika Borgmann about the Sabra and Shatila  massacres as evidence that, contrary to what I seemed to believe, there was a willingness by the Lebanese to deal with their recent past and come to terms with it. I thought it would therefore be interesting to juxtapose that discussion with Borgmann’s own statement:

“I think Lebanon never looked back to its past. There was an amnesty but there was also a kind of amnesia. And talking about the civil war became a taboo, because it was said that the wounds need to be healed, and if you open the wounds of the past new violence will emerge, we need time and so on. But, I think no country can escape confronting its past forever, it’s a painful process, but it’s one which is not avoidable.”


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