• Golden Globe Awards

Tramontane (Lebanon)

Every year, the Dubai International Film Festival takes a couple of films from Arabic countries that were screened successfully in December, and sponsors them to participate in the Golden Globes, organizing an evening of cinema from that region that is becoming a tradition in the HFPA calendar. One of the films selected for that special night this year was Tramontane, the feature debut of Vatche Boulghourjian which won the Muhr Award for Best Actress for Julia Kassar, an important accolade in Arab cinema. The Lebanese production had a wonderful start at Cannes last year, debuting in the Critics Week and winning the Grand Golden Rial there. It also won the International Competition in the Pula Film Festival in Croatia.Ostensibly Tramontane just follows a very simple story: Rabih Ralek is a young blind musician who needs to get a passport so he can travel with his band to Europe. Played by an actor who is blind in real life, Barakat Jabbour, Rabih finds out very soon that something is wrong with the identification card he has been using until then. When he shows up at the Police department to apply for the passport, he is told by the authorities that the piece of plastic is fake. Believing it is a mistake, he goes to his mother first, then to his uncle, who was the one who got him the piece of documentation. Every door he knocks, something else fails. Rabih discovers he has been adopted, but the official story he hears from his family still does not match. He decides to investigate on his own, and suddenly the years of the civil war that lasted 15 years and took 120,000 lives becomes the answer to all his questions, and then the supposedly simple story acquires a new dimension. As in The Insult, another Lebanese film competing for the Golden Globe, Tramontane shows the scars of a society that has been deeply impacted by that conflict, and how its consequences are still affecting daily life.