So it was my first go at TIFF this afternoon. I saw The Lebanese Rocket Society, a documentary about Lebanon’s short-lived, and long-forgotten space program in the 1960s. It was made by the artists and filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
I wanted to see it as soon as I read the description, which included a lot of my favourite dissertation-relevant things. It’s a work of commemoration, by and about two artists who want to return the Lebanese Rocket Society to public memory. The Society operated between 1960 and 1966, so it’s about the Cold War, too, and a Middle East shadowed by American/Soviet tension, the continuing repercussions of decolonization and the Second World War. Kim Philby even turns up for a moment. Finally, it’s an alternative history of technology and innovation. I mean, it’s about a bunch of kids who built a rocket! Just because they like rockets!