Every Day Is a Holiday (Chaque jour est une fête)

France/Germany 2009, Feature film, 87' | Director Dima El-Horr | Screenplay Dima El-Horr, Rabih Mroué | DoP Dominique Gentil | Editor Jacques Comets | Sound Jean-Guy Véran, Thomas Robert, Emmanuel Zouki | Music Pierre Aviat | Cast Hiam Abbass, Manal Khader, Raïa Haïdar, Fadi Abi Samra, Berge Fazelian, Nabil Abou Mrad, Karim Saleh, Sirvat Fazelian | Production Ciné-Sud Promotion, Orjouane Productions, Nikovantastic Film

Synopsis
Life is short but the day is long! Beirut, Lebanon. Three women, at first strangers to one another, are riding in the same bus towards the same destination - a men's prison in the middle of the Hermel Desert. Against her parent's wishes, Tamara is visiting her husband who has been in jail since their wedding day. For her part, Lina has one goal in mind: to have her husband, who is serving a long sentence, sign the divorce papers that will finally set her free. And the third, Hala, is scared. She is secretly carrying in her bag the weapon her husband, one of the prison guards, forgot at home.

After a few humorous incidents at the start of the trip, the bus comes off the road. Lost in the middle of nowhere, the women are left to their destiny. They continue on foot, pushing further on a journey into their inner being where individual life and collective memory fade and blur. As Lebanon struggles to win back its freedom, the journey of the three women becomes a search for their own liberty.

Rumours about a massacre, the thud of an explosion, people fleeing: the war is not visible in Chaque jour est une fête, but it is omnipresent. "The story of the civil war in Lebanon (1975-1990) was never told," says director Dima El-Horr, "because there never was any dialogue between the various warring factions. There never was a clear explanation for what happened during the war, why the war started and why it ended. Unlike in other countries, there was no Truth and Reconciliation Commission, no forgiveness. Nothing was ever settled, and the Lebanese people are supposed to simply forget. Thus they live in an abstracted version of reality."

 

Biography
Of Lebanese origin, Dima El-Horr graduated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently works as a lecturer at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. She has hitherto made two shorts, which have been shown at several festivals and awarded prizes. She also worked on a documentary Vietnam Long Time Coming. Chaque jour est une fête is her first feature-length film.

Dima El-Horr
France, Germany
2009
Feature Film
2010
Debut Feature Film Competition