A Film by Mohamed Soueid
Tango of Yearning (1998) is the first episode of an autobiographical trilogy on postwar Lebanon, later including Nightfall (2000) and Civil War (2002). Taking its title from (Tango of Hope), a classic ballad by Nur al-Huda, the film draws from the director’s reflections on war, love, and cinema, as well as his personal experience at the public television channel TéléLiban. Conjuring various snippets of audiovisual archival material, the film is a poetic elegy to film, Beirut’s movie theaters, and a city undergoing radical transformation. Mohamed Soueid has long been a proponent of the experimental video documentary movement in Lebanon, playing a significant role in the country’s creative renaissance since the end of the civil war. Originally trained as a news videographer during the war, the experience offered him a facility with the medium, which he further developed by making non-linear documentary films with a distinctly personal take.