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Set in 1975 during the initial stages of Lebanon's civil war, Ziad Doueiri's debut recreates those chaotic times through the eyes of three teenage friends, Muslims Omar (Chamas) and Tarek (Rami Doueiri, the director's younger brother) and Christian girl May (Al Amin). But the war-torn friends barely concern themselves with religion or politics: American pop music, food, sex, smoking and Tarek's beloved Super 8 camera are all they care about.
The division of Beirut serves as a good excuse for them to skip school--until the fighting interferes with their plans. Strong performances, a keen eye for detail and a refusal to sermonize set this eloquent film apart from the pack.