What’s Going On?

Shou amb bi sir?

What’s Going On?

Jocelyne Saab


»I’m not asking the viewer to understand everything, but just to dream for a while.«
– Jocelyne Saab

Beirut, 2010. Jalal regrets not having become a tailor, like his father, but a writer instead. For this reason he is now designing, cutting, sewing and stapling together a »body« from one of his own texts. Real people, such as female dancer Khouloud, fill him with inspiration. Piece by piece Jalal steals their stories, transforming them into characters in his novel. What is true? What is false? Who are the characters? Are the situations real? Or is the writer once again diverting the lives of his models for his own creative purposes; a new love story in Beirut? He physically kidnaps the heart of his heroine Khouloud and adds it to the pages of his book. What is he going to do with it?
»With the increasingly oppressive atmosphere in recent years in the Arab world, Jocelyne Saab interrupts the familiar cinematic form, accepted in the region, and presents a full-length experimental film here. What’s Going On? grieves for the loss of dignity of the city and opposes this by re-appropriation through art.«
– Irit Neidhart


Jocelyne Saab


Jocelyne Saab, Joumana Haddad, Samer Akl


Jacques Bouquin


Catherine Poitevin


James Galt


Jocelyne Saab, Ciné-On France, Collection d’Artiste Liban, Astarté production Costa-rica


Jocelyne Saab

Porträt des Jurymitglieds Jocelyne Saab

Jocelyne Saab

Born in Lebanon, Jocelyne Saab is a director, writer, documentary filmmaker and photographer. The Lebanese Civil War threw the one-time television presenter and newsreader onto the front line as a war reporter. In 1975 she made her first featurelength documentary, the award-winning Lebanon in Turmoil, going on to make many critically acclaimed documentaries, filming in Lebanon, the Spanish Sahara, Egypt, Iran, Vietnam and Kurdistan. Her feature film debut Suspended Life (1985), shot in Beirut during the Civil War, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Dunia (2006), selected for the Sundance Film Festival, was her second feature. Taking a new direction, Jocelyne did many art exhibitions and an art film with freedome of imagination as subject: What’s going on – which has been screened at the IWFF Dortmund | Cologne in 2012. She just finshied art films for the anthropology new museum of Marseille (THE MUCEM) and currently is working on a new feature.

Films by Jocelyne Saab (Selection)
Dunia – Kiss Me Not on the Eyes 2006 | Paris in Love 2003 | The Lady of Saigon 1996/97 | Once Upon a Time in Beirut 1992/94 | A Suspended Life 1985 | Beirut, My City 1982 | The Sahara is Not for Sale 1978 | Children of War 1976 | Le Liban dans la tourmente 1975