UK PREMIERE In Fields of Words: Conversations with Samar Yazbek + Q&A with Rania Stephan

In Fields of Words: Conversations with Samar Yazbek, dir. Rania Stephan, Lebanon 2022, 70 min., Arabic and French with English subtitles

Date: Saturday 25 March 2023

Time: 4:15 PM

Venue: ICA, Cinema 1


This screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Rania Stephan, hosted by Helene Kazan.

Rania Stephan’s new film is a portrait of Syrian writer and activist Samar Yazbek, now living in exile in France, known for non-fiction works such as The Crossing and A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution as well as an extensive range of novels and short stories. Ten years in the making, the film unfolds through various vignettes, as well as a dialogue between Stephan and Yazbek, whose friendship is woven into the fabric of the work. Their collaborative film-conversation asks questions of the relationship between language and cinema as tools to represent and challenge the reality of war and destruction. Yazbek meditates on the nature and consequences of adequately bearing witness to atrocities, in contrast to the consistent media reproduction of violent imagery which desensitises and habituates us to the death and suffering that have been experienced in Syria. She reflects on the value of literature and imagination for facilitating our ability to bear and even enrich this reality, and the result is a poignant and timeless reflection on violence and representation.