The gaze lingering on abandoned alleys and deserted roads sees what the light reveals. Dusty desks lay on the floors of the empty school, and pieces of plastic swing quietly in the wind between the collapsed walls of an apartment building. They have become quiet memorials of the life that once filled the buildings. Now, only children’s faded drawings on the dusty walls and faint traces of footsteps on the road remain.
François Yazbeck’s essayistic memoir film Nécrose returns to Beirut, to the port that was left in ruins by a devastating explosion. Things lose their original meanings as they turn into tiny details. Living bodies melt into the geography of the area, and ships that sunk by the harbour seem like whale skeletons. In the experimental documentary, memories and reality blend into a haunting journey to the area left to the elements, and new life pushes out of destruction.
Atmospheric music is skillfully combined with a constructed soundscape on Yazbeck’s journey to the geology of emotion. Nécrose is full of flashes from the past, and the story is built from little details bit by bit. The phantasmal journey has echoes of a Lynchian mystery, in which the definitions of place and time are blurred.
Emilia Koivumäki (translated by Inari Ylinen)
Content warning: flashing lights, anxiety
Director François Yazbeck attends the screening of his film on Fri, Feb 2.