In March 1974, a group of students at the American University of Beirut occupied the premises of their university. This act of rebellion epitomized the struggle of youth in the 70s against capitalistic ideas and cultural imperialism. 74 revisits and explores this incident through a series of reenactments involving seven young leftist activists. Blurring the lines between past and present, documentary and fiction, action and intention, 74 attempts to capture the thoughts, hopes and spirit of young Lebanese leftists today.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Biography/ Rania Rafei
Rania Rafei is a documentary and fiction filmmaker. Born in 1979 in Tripoli, Lebanon, Rafei has a diploma in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA).
For the past five years, she has directed short and feature documentaries that were broadcasted on Al Jazeera Channel. Topics included, student and labor movements in the Arab world, snake hunters in Egypt and portraits of artists in the Arab world.
Rafei has also worked on art and fiction film projects. She wrote and directed several short movies: "Harissa Texas" in 2004, "The Dish" and "Manchette" in 2005.
She made four art videos: "Smoking kills", "Minimum precautions", "The four seasons: summer 2006" and "Brain cells" in 2006-2007.
In 2010, she made a documentary, “Notes on Love in Copenhagen”. In 2011, she directed a docu-fiction “Prologue”, that premiered in the art festival, Video Works.
Biography/ Raed El Rafei
Raed El Rafei has worked as a journalist with various publications covering an array of fields (political, social, economic...) since 2004. After completing a BS at the American University of Beirut and a Master degree in Journalism, he first contributed articles for a specialized environmental magazine before moving to work as a reporter for the Lebanese Daily Star, where he wrote front-page articles on political change in Lebanon in addition to an array of features and news reports on social, legal and environmental issues. In 2006, after reporting on the summer war between Israel and Hezbollah, he joined the Los Angeles Times as a correspondent in Lebanon. He covered the security situation in Lebanon, wrote features on social and political issues and commented on current affairs in various Arab countries. He also contributed articles to The Progressive magazine, Al-Ahram weekly and Forbes Arabia. Since October 2008, He has been working as a trainer and an editor for Middle East programs of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. He recently carried out extensive research on the history of student movements in Lebanon for a documentary that is scheduled to be broadcasted on Al- Jazeera documentary channel.