Perhaps What I Fear Does Not Exist
Documentary, director: Corine Shawi, Lebanon, 2022, 73 min., Arab./Fr. with En. ST
In the presence of director Corine Shawi
Suddenly paralysed, the father of filmmaker Corine Shawi has been sitting in a hospital bed for a year, undergoing examinations and therapies. His wife Soad is always with him. Nothing is as it was and the hospital room has become the centre of family life. In Perhaps What I Fear Does not Exist, Shawi weaves personal reflections and intimate moments with interview sequences of her family and footage of everyday hospital life into a multi-layered tapestry. In doing so, she questions her own family structure and depicts, at the same time, the current state of Lebanese society. “What does happiness mean?” Asks Shawi’s sister, sitting frustrated on the back seat of a car. Who is happy? What does that even mean? In the end, everyone has to find the answers for themselves. Perhaps What I Fear Does not Exist captivates its audience with a clear and sober style which also makes space, again and again, for tender and poetic moments.