The Lebanese Civil War saw 170,000 dead, 1 million displaced and 17,000 people still missing. During the conflict thousands of teenagers picked up arms to fight in a 15 years war that tore the nation apart.
In 1990, the Taif agreement brought the war to a close, integrating warring parties into a power sharing government. With an amnesty pardoning all crimes against civilians and no plans to reintegrate militiamen back into society, many fighters became anonymous, silent and were left to disappear into a society ravaged by internal strife.
Moving through the testimonies of Assad, a right wing Christian intelligence officer; Ahed, a Palestinian refugee fighter and Nassim, a Communist commander, About a War unpicks the personal motivations, trauma and regret of militiamen who picked up arms during the civil war. With no official account of the conflict, their testimonies build a multi-perspective picture of a crucial turning point in Lebanese history that radically transformed the Middle East.
Nowadays, ex-fighters Ahed, Assad and Nassim work towards breaking cycles of violence among young people in Lebanon. While their own personal confessions delve deeper into issues of violence and politics in the Middle East, they also stand as a cautionary tale for a country that continues to be marred by inequality and sectarian divide.
Best Documentary Feature at Lebanese Independent Film Festival 2019
“a multi-perspective picture of horrendous times.” – The National
“compelling and often unsettling documentary” – Arab News
"In their powerful and sensitive About a War, Rugo and Weaver take great care to let the events of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90) speak for themselves, thereby assisting the many still hoping to ‘finally get out of this war’". - Prof Nikolaj Lubecker, Professor of Film, St John's College, University of Oxford
About the filmmaker
Daniele Rugo (Right) is a director who has worked on films such as The Olympic Side of London (2012) and as editor on feature films including The Land's Music (2016). He has a PhD in Philosophy and currently holds a post as Reader in Film at Brunel University London.
Abi Weaver (Left) is a BAFTA award winning producer/director who has worked across a range of visual media from independent feature documentaries and online shorts (Snapchat and Youtube) through to programming for major UK broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5). Abi is also a researcher at the University of Surrey.