Do You Love Me
Documentary / 80 min / in Production
Do You Love Me, named after the Bendaly Family song that was released in 1978, is an archive-based essay documentary about the bitter sweet personal accounts of the generations that transitioned from youth to adulthood during and post the Lebanese Civil War. Their stories are interwoven with the songs and music of the time.
Do You Love Me is a coming-of-age film named after the widely popular Bendaly Family song that was released in 1978 during the Lebanese Civil War. It is an archive-based essay documentary about the generations of Lebanese that grew up during and post the Civil War (1975 - present).
Using solely archive footage and no talking heads, the film weaves together three main narrative lines: in the foreground is society (various people's personal accounts in the form of interviews - both old and new), in the background is the context of the time (historical, military, political but most importantly daily life and survival during the period of the civil war) and in the middle ground is the music of the Bendaly Family as well as their contemporaries of the time - all of whom had a large musical influence during that era. Intertwined with the personal stories, we follow the rise and fall of two generations of the musical Bendaly Family as well as other re-known musicians; while focusing on two main characters, René and Re-Mi (father and daughter). The sound of the film (interviews, radio archives as well as songs) will be the connective tissue that binds the different narrative lines together.
Do You Love Me is about memory but it is not only about the past. Depicting a country that denies its past and ignores its present, the story is the mosaic of a social history and an emotional ethnography. It is not the historical story of the civil war nor the biographic story of a small musical family; it is the untold story of the music of a time and a generation's collective experience.