by Lucile GARCON
23 minutes, 2010
Production : Rami ZURAYK et Lucile GARCON / France
Every year, at the beginning of spring, Syrian buses go down the Euphrates valley on their way to the Lebanese border. Three years of consecutive drought have made the people of the Fertile Crescent hostile, many Syrians are thrown out on to the road with nothing to eat. Whole families cross the Anti-Lebanon mountains; the men find jobs in construction, either at Saïda or Beirut, the women and children work in the fields, bullied by the foremen and a boss who takes a percentage of their wages. Come the winter, some of these seasonal workers do not go back home, they spend years in make-shift potato-sack tents along the roads which lead to the famous archaeological site at Baalbeck. If, from the window of their car, tourists find the idea of a nomadic life charmingly archaic, the view from inside the camp shows archaism of a different sort, less romantic, more typical of modern refugee camps.
Lucile GARCON was born in Normandy in 1987. Having studied agronomy and anthropology in Paris, she set out with a camera for the Lebanon in September 2009. While working on research projects for the American University in Beirut, she wrote a few articles and made a documentary on the condition of agricultural workers on the Beqaa plain. She is currently working on a thesis on food . As a director she has made the following films: “Warsheh” (2010, 23 minutes); “Un hectare à Beyrouth” (2009, 5 minutes); “Le temps des cerises” (2008, 22 minutes).