The Soil and the Sea Filmmaker on the Humanising Power of Documentary

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By Jade Turner

More than 30 years after the end of the Lebanese Civil War, families and loved ones have been unable to find the truth about what happened to their loved ones. Seventeen thousand people were disappeared during the conflict, and there are more than 100 untouched mass graves lying beneath schools, hotels, agricultural plots and busy roads. The eye-opening and deeply moving documentary The Soil and the Sea reveals the truth of these seemingly normal spaces, filling the everyday comings-and-goings of the landscape with the stories of those who have been erased from history.

Here, director Daniele Rugo discusses the film’s importance in starting a national discussion, his decision to focus on landscapes and voices, and the seeming impossibility of closure for affected families across Lebanon.

Read the full interview on the Curzon Journal here.