Lebanon Wins the World Cup is a documentary short film about war and football, told against the backdrop of the 1982 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. It tells the story of two former enemies, a bookish Communist and a battle-hardened Christian, who share a love for the Brazilian team despite fighting each other in one of the 20th Century’s most notorious conflicts, the Lebanese Civil War. The film investigates the brutality of war, the beauty of Brazilian football, and the possibility of reconciliation for Lebanon’s ‘Lost Generation’
The film is a collaboration of Beirut-based director and producer Tony ElKhoury and New York-based writer, director and journalist Anthony Lappé.
It came out of their mutual love for the game of football and the nation of Lebanon, and a belief in the power of sport to bridge what divides us. Shot with an entirely local crew and scored by one of Beirut’s leading musical talents Oak, the film is a purely independent, self-financed production.
Despite an end to nearly two decades of internecine warfare that left over 120,000 dead in 1990, the numerous armed groups of Lebanon’s Civil War never conducted a true reconciliation process. The filmmakers hope this film in its own small way may show the possibility for forgiveness among the various devotional and political factions who have never had closure for the conflict that tore their country apart.
The film incorporates intimate interviews, rare archival film from Lebanon’s Civil War, a cinematic re-enactment of 1982 Beirut, original footage from the city’s 2014 FIFA World Cup celebrations and an emotional meeting between the two ex-enemies.
Running time: 23 minutes
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Country of Filming: Lebanon
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 (16x9 video)
Shooting Format: HDV, HD (1080p)
Screening format: DCP, Blu-Ray
Production Country: Lebanon / USA
Release: October 2015