Volker Schlöndorff Visits UMAM D&R
September 26, 2019

Invited to Beirut to attend the German Film Week, a cooperation between the Goethe-Institut Lebanon and Metropolis Art Cinema Association held between September 19, 2019, and October 1, 2019, renowned German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff also visited UMAM D&R and The Hangar in Haret Hreik.

Besides a body of work that spans over nearly 60 years and has often addressed and challenged chapters of German history through film, Schlöndorff also has a long-standing bond to Lebanon and issues of heritage preservation, in particular, audio-visual heritage.

A visit to Lebanon in the 1960s left an indelible impression of the country on Schlöndorff and prompted him to return during the civil war to adapt Nicholas Born’s novel, Circle of Deceit. At the time, he and his crew stayed at the Carlton Hotel in Ras Beirut – a fact that UMAM D&R can back up given that his and his crew members’ names can be found – most of them misspelt – in the large ledgers rescued from the hotel.

Given that he had been instrumental in saving Studio Babelsberg after the fall of the Berlin Wall, UMAM D&R was happy to show him through the archives of Studio Baalbeck and discuss with him efforts undertaken so far in halting the deterioration of the film material and the process of sorting out of tons of paper documents.