Hollywood Gold Award for “Beirut after 40”: Bravo to Director Anthony Merchak!

Mr. Anthony Merchak. A picture taken from 961

Today, Bambi listened to an interview Director Anthony Merchak gave to her internet Lebanese-American radio about his movie “Beirut after 40” on the surrealistic Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020.

Mr. Merchak is visiting Hollywood where his movie is currently being viewed. Bambi was happy and honoured to discover his humanity in addition to his talent!

She was also moved to listen to him share memories of the Beirut port blast of August 4, 2020. He happened to have been at 600 meters away from the port, perhaps exactly in the same place where Bambi’s niece (also injured) was.

He expressed his gratitude to the American audience. It seems that everyone watching his movie cried. Some told him that his movie made them remember the 911 tragedy. Of note, the survivors of the August 4, 2020’s explosion in Beirut happen to call their blast “our own 911“. Some flew from as far as Hawaii to watch his movie. This moved his heart.

Of course, the room where the movie was viewed was also filled with Lebanese-Americans. Some of them remembered the civil war or stories told to them by their parents (for younger ones).

Mr. Merchak chose to tell the story of the Beirut port in this documentary-movie from his own perspective, but without him being seen in the movie. He just ends with one meaningful Lebanese expression, it seems: “Tinzakar wala tinwad” [May it be remembered, but never repeated again].

As a survivor himself, this Director witnessed horrific scenes. Indeed, he shared many stories during the interview that were much more dramatic than what is featured in his movie. For instance, he told us about a man he will never ever forget until his death, to use his own words. Injured and under shock (like everyone else), Mr. Merchak could not help that man who was trapped in his apartment and screaming, begging him for help.

We also learn how he lost one whole hour (while bleeding) before reaching a hospital because rumours circulated on the streets about shelling. People (who lost their phones) ran to hide in a parking underground (he was among them). It took them time to realize that there was no shelling, just rumours in the middle of the confusion of the chaos. He then had to find his way to a hospital. Some saying walk from here. Others from there.

All Beirut healthcare centres were overwhelmed with the 6000+ injured residents. Dust (like in the movie) and blood everywhere, a scene Bambi heard about from her own sister. The latter rushed to search for her husband. She screened the faces and eyes of all the blooded people, one by one, in 3-5 different hospitals, until she found him (he almost lost an eye, but thank God, he completely healed, at least physically. Psychological scars take more time).

Sadly, other people were not as blessed as Bambi’s sister. Indeed, they lost their loved ones (some lost their young kids, others their parents or siblings). Yet others never found the bodies of their relatives in the crime scene at the port.

All this… and yet no accountability STILL.

All this and the authorities are thinking of destroying the final place of evidence.

All this and Maya, Bambi’s childhood friend is awaiting another of the MANY surgeries she is still having since that doomed August 4, 2020 (hi Maya, Bambi’s hero of patience ❤️, and hello to those in the same boat as her… ).

To come back to Mr. Merchak, Bambi would like to thank him for being the voice and the eyes of the families of the victims, of the injured, of the homeless, of the traumatized (those who are still in Lebanon and ALL those who escaped… Many of whom to Canada and around the world).

As for this Director’s latest movie, again called “Beirut after 40”, Bambi learned from 961 (shown below) the following:

“The film has won many awards [including one from Tunis, Bambi adds] and is among the most famous short films in the region.

It will be also screened in the upcoming release of the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market in France, from January 30 to February 4.

“Beirut After 40” is also nominated at the Golden State film festival 2022, which will be held between February 25 and March 3 at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Bravo, Mr.Merchak! Please keep up. Thanks for making Lebanon proud of you!

2 thoughts on “Hollywood Gold Award for “Beirut after 40”: Bravo to Director Anthony Merchak!”

  1. What a beautiful and touching article about the film Beirut after 40!!!
    Hope I will be able to watch it soon and thank you for always remembering your friends and family who were injured but thank God survived this horrible day!!! Our last hope is to know the truth and to have all the responsible of this horrible blast be judged and go to prison.
    Love you Bambi♥️♥️

    1. Bambi loves you too big time, Maya ♥️♥️!! Thank you for taking the time to comment (getting late at your end :)).

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