IMPOSSIBLE EXCHANGE (10', Lebanon, 2011)

 

World premiere in Berlinale 2012, IMPOSSIBLE EXCHANGE is a piece of documentary video-art which explores how expanding moments through slow motion together with textual interventions can enhance the deeper meaning of what is seen. Using minimal means for maximal effect, Lebanese director MAHMOUD HOJEIJ breaks down “the forth wall” by addressing the viewer directly and involves him in a seemingly banal episode, which carries in fact a strong political and emotional charge. Aboard a boat, some French tourists negotiate with the merchants on shore. However close they may be, the obvious difference of their status sets them worlds apart.

Director: MAHMOUD HOJEIJ

With the support of:

 

Screenplay: MAHMOUD HOJEIJ

Cinematography: MAHMOUD HOJEIJ

Editing: AMMAR EL BIEK

Producer: MAHMOUD HOJEIJ, GEORGES SCHOUCAIR



World Sales

MAHMOUD HOJEIJ

+ 961 3 631 309

www.abboutproductions.com

mhojeij[at]hotmail[dot]com

 

 

MAHMOUD HOJEIJ is an award winning Lebanese filmmaker with his short films screened worldwide. In 1999 his movie Beirut Palermo Beirut received the Golden Spire award at San Francisco IFF. Many of his movies are inspired by the social turmoil in his home country and address sensitive issues. HOJEIJ has also edited three books on photography, taught at several universities in Lebanon and published numerous articles on media. He's currently working on his first feature movie Stable Unstable.

 

Nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Short Film - Berlinale 2012

 

"IMPOSSIBLE EXCHANGE breaks down “the forth wall” by addressing the viewer directly, involving him in a seemingly banal episode, which carries in fact a strong political and emotional charge. Aboard a boat, some French tourists negotiate with the Lebanese merchants on shore. The moment is expanded through slow motion and textual interventions which materialize an imaginary dialogue between the two parties involved in the transaction, the image reaching an interesting metaphorical level: it is not about exchanging a rug for money anymore, but about "exchanging the merchant's status in the world with that of the tourist. However, the exchange is impossible, as the gap between their two worlds is immense. Similarly, self-referencing his status as a filmmaker and the pact with the viewer to accept his footage, the  director HOJEIJ points out that he offers us his entire self ( his film), in exchange for our socio-political status ( a visa valid in all European countries), although aware that the gap between his world and ours is as cureless.” (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)

 

“I would like to exchange the footage I am about to show you, with a valid visa to any European country. But since it is impossible to exchange that, I would like to ask you to keep what I am about to show you, between me and you, as it would not be appropriate for me to show you that and handle your refusal of granting me a visa. That is exactly why I want it to remain a secret so we both don’t feel embarrassed in front of each other, when we meet.” (MAHMOUD HOJEIJ)

 

INTERVIEW