6 Feb 2013
My Neighbour, My Enemy: Lebanon's Mirrored Fears
What is particularly insightful about the film is how it depicts the 'mirrored' fear and anxiety on either side. Much like other 'fault lines' elsewhere in Lebanon, close proximity between two communities has turned into a source of simmering tensions and frequent eruptions of violence. The futility of such struggles is perfectly illustrated through the almost exact language that combatants on either side use to express their point of view. The dwelling on past grievances and existential threats are constant features, highlighting both the roots of the conflict and its open-ended nature.
The most troubling aspect of the film is the impact of the conflict on the younger generation, as you see children rehearsing future battles with their toy guns. It's a powerful symbol of how the conflict is perpetuated by feeding into the lingering sense of grievance. The crisis in Syria has no doubt exasperated the situation, but the Lebanese state and the political class bear the main responsibility for allowing this conflict to continue. It is self-consuming, destructive and utterly futile, yet there are no serious attempts to deal with it.
Watch the film below or on Youtube: