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Conversations with Siro

Conversations avec Siro
Dima El-Horr
International Competition 2021
Documentary Film
52 minutes
French, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dima El-Horr
Paul Rognoni
Sabine Sidawi
Dima El-Horr
Catherine Zins
Jean-Pierre Dussardier

Lebanese filmmaker Dima El-Horr moved to Paris several years ago. Among the friends who stayed at home is the artist Sirvat Fazlian, whom she regularly visits in Beirut until the failed revolution of 2019, the COVID lockdown, the devastating port explosion and finally the dramatic economic crisis put a temporary end to their meetings. So the director decides to give her conversations with Siro a cinematic form.

Ever since the death of her husband, the well-known Armenian actor Berj Fazlian, Siro has lived alone in a flat filled with souvenirs and devoted most of her time to music and painting. In this film, footage from the years before 2019 blends with recorded phone calls between Siro and Dima and recent scenes from Paris, coming together in a densely woven portrait of life in exile. While snow falls in Paris, Siro talks about warm days on the Mediterranean coast and sings Armenian songs. She rails against the permanent crisis in Lebanon, but her nature is not affected. For one thing, Siro personifies the legendary Lebanese resilience. Yet for the filmmaker she represents that part of the heart that people in exile leave behind. So almost inevitably, “Conversations with Siro” becomes the director’s dialogue with herself.
Christoph Terhechte
Nominated for FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Interreligious Jury
State of the World