He is retired; she is a civil servant. A childless couple, living in an inherited apartment. After twenty years abroad, the brother returns and reclaims his room. He seems to covet his share of the estate. The couple’s familiar life is shaken. Then an underlying fraternal conflict comes to the surface – a tacit war, animosity that swells like a fatal tumour.
Roy Films (Lebanon)
Two old brothers living together in an apartment inherited from their mother. They never speak to each other. This true story haunts me. Although discord surrounding inheritance is not uncommon, it raises existential questions. Why, in the face of peril, do humans embrace a primitive condition? Clearly, the story of The Brother relates to an imposing element of the history of Lebanon – it represents a mise en abyme by describing the malaise of an entire people, its troubled past, its multiple conflicts and its civil wars. I am reminded of a text by W.M. Thomson, a Protestant missionary who described Lebanon in a strangely topical manner in writings that recount his routine trips dating from the 1830s. The same discord. The same animosities. Is this repetitive echo a curse, or merely human nature? This is how the idea of this film was born in me. Pushing a case study to its paroxysm; destroying the Other, a fellow man, is essentially an inevitable destruction of the Self. A modern-day Cain and Abel tale.
Michel Kammoun studied filmmaking in Paris after architecture studies in Beirut. His short films have participated in prestigious international festivals and have been widely broadcasted. His debut feature film, Falafel, won top international awards, participated in major film festivals worldwide and earned international acclaim. His upcoming feature film, Beirut Hold’em, is set to be released post covid. Michel teaches at the Lebanese University, Faculty of Fine Arts as well as at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut. He is a frequent collaborator at the École Supérieure d'Études Cinématographiques in Paris. The Brother will be his third feature film.
The Postoffice, Treehouse Media
May 2021, Beirut
Financing, distribution, international sales