Photos and Video
In this portrait of a character and a society, Malek and his mother, Claudia, struggle with an insidious inertia 15 years after the Lebanese civil war in which thousands disappeared, including Malek's father, but progress is difficult in Beirut. Claudia still waits faithfully for her husbands return. While this day begins with a loving caress, it shifts into small moments that add up to meditations on loss and reconciliation. The 25-year-old Malek increasingly finds escape in perilous bouts of narcolepsy, which bring an almost dreamlike state to this film. An insidious inertia has clouded the possibility of happiness or even vague contentment for Malek and Claudia. After an emotional debate about whether to have the family's patriarch declared dead, mother and son die a little themselves. But once the air is let out of their hermetically sealed relationship, the freedom moves the two in different directions. Malek takes the more practical approach of severing the past, even if it threatens to cut the spiritual tether to his father. A wayward girlfriend complicates matters, as Malek discovers the very technology that is supposed to bring his generation together-cell phones and text messaging-only pushes him further from what he wants. A Perfect Day showcases a still beautiful city amid the clatter of rebuilding. But like Malek and his mother, the city needs more than jackhammers for true reconstruction to take place. The title and situation of the this film recall the poignant optimism of Lou Reed's classic song, the film's own award-winning original music is unforgettable.
Director's Statement Collapse
This is a personal story. Khalil's uncle is one of the 17,000 people reported missing in Beirut during the war. They left their homes one morning or 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 on 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 our generation, which Malek belongs to. Young people with humdrum existences who let themselves be carried along by daily life. Trapped between the guilt of a dark past that is difficult to come to terms with and the anguish of an uncertain future in a politically unstable region, how can they live in the present, love, construct, and find their place in society? Things are in a state of latency. The present is hard to live in, or else lived out ''hysterically'' during the Beirut nights; nights when people go out to forget themselves and lose themselves. They go to clubs and bars in search of community, to try to find a rhythm, and to reclaim their bodies and the bodies 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, frames of mind, wrong tracks, and vivid situations in the fascinating and paradoxical town that is Beirut today.
Film Information Collapse
About the Director(s)Collapse
Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas wrote and directed their first fiction feature Al Bayt el zaher (Around the Pink House) in 1999. In 2000, they made Khiam; and in 2003 El film el mafkoud (The Lost Film) (TFF 2003). Both documentaries were shown at film festivals, as well as in numerous art centers and international museums. In 2003, they returned to fiction with the short feature Ramad (Ashes) (TFF 2004), which was nominated for the 2005 César Awards. In addition, they are the creators of various art installations that have been exhibited in galleries and institutions around the world. A Perfect Day is their second feature.