Miguel’s War is the story of a gay man who grew up oppressed and shamed during the Lebanese civil war. Raised by a conservative Catholic father and an authoritarian Syrian mother, teenage Miguel was inhibited by a deep inferiority complex and was incapable of asserting himself. In 1983 the deeply sensitive boy, desperate to prove he “exists” and can act like “a real man” joined the fighting as part of an armed faction. But his experience was a failure. Traumatized he immigrates to Madrid, Spain, where he seeks to liberate himself through debauchery.
Thirty-seven years after leaving Lebanon, Miguel feels ready to face his trauma and the ghosts of his past. Using intertwining cinematic forms, melding documentary, animation, theatre and archive, and filmed on location in Lebanon and Spain, this feature film hopes to offer an experience of self-confrontation, awareness and catharsis.
Miguel’s War won the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Feature Film focusing on LGBTQ topics and the second audience award after premiering during the 2021 Berlinale.
“For Raheb, individual trauma doesn’t stand alone; by focusing on one person, the breadth of Lebanon’s troubled collective experience is uncovered, and with humor, honesty and a common humanity it can be brought into the open for potential healing.” Jay Weissberg, Variety
Lebanon, Germany, Spain
Language: Arabic, Spanish, English, French with English Subtitles