Close Up

7 September 2023: To Remain in the No Longer + A Forest Tale


To Remain in the No Longer
Joyce Joumaa, 2023, 37 min

In 1962, Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer was invited to design an international fairground in the city of Tripoli, Lebanon. Situated across 70 hectares, the Rachid Karami International Fair – Tripoli was a flagship project of Lebanon's modernisation policy and is now listed by UNESCO as being of Outstanding Universal Value. The site was never completed and exists today in partial ruin. Years of mismanagement and inflating costs suspended construction which ceased fully with the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975. The centrepiece – a vast modernist dome – was used as a munitions storage facility by occupying Syrian armed forces until 1990. Joyce Joumaa’s To Remain in the No Longer examines the architectural, social and political significance of Niemeyer’s fairground. Through archival materials, interviews with local people, 16mm and digital images of the buildings as they stand today, the film reflects on both the fraught history of this site and its connection to the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon today.

A Forest Tale
Ruth Maclennan, 2022, 33 min

Comprised of several distinct stories, A Forest Tale displays an interconnected world in the sub-arctic forests of Russia. The craftsmen and women, musicians and local population of are all linked through the customs and rituals of these glacial surroundings. Wildlife, trees and forests also constitute an area rich with myth, symbolism, food and song. Filmmaker Ruth Maclennan encounters people eager to tell stories of their ancestors, and those who are considering leaving the boreal forests behind. There are messages of sustainability, of concern for the environment amid flickers of hope and communal kind-heartedness. Filmed up to just a day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a strong sense of foreboding hangs in the air.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers

Presented as part of Open City Documentary Festival – The Art of Non-Fiction