Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b. 1985)
Once Removed (2019)
This video work is a portrait of the time-travelling life of Bassel Abi Chahine, a 31-year-old writer and historian who has managed to obtain the most comprehensive inventory of extremely rare objects, photographs and interviews of the People Liberation Army (PLA) and Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) militia from the Lebanese civil war. His obsessive analysis, collection and unprecedented research into this one militia was done in pursuit of material to reconstitute what he describes as flashbacks and unexplainable memories from a previous life. Through his research Abi Chahine realized that his own lucid memories of a war he had not lived were due to the fact that he was the reincarnation of a soldier Yousef Fouad Al Jawhary, who died aged 16 on February 26, 1984 in the town of Aley.
Once Removed was commissioned by Sharjah Biennial 14 curated by Omar Kholeif. The film won the Jean Vigo Prize for best Director at Punto De Vista Festival 2020.