Following the success of his feature-length documentaries, "Chronicles of Return", "Women of Hezbollah", and "Shatila Roundabout", Maher Abi Samra debuted his latest film "We Were Communists", made possible through a grant from AFAC in 2009. Tracing the intersecting destinies of comrades who were once bound by a shared ideological affiliation and who remain tightly knit friends, “We Were Communists” is an uninhibited examination of the legacy of Lebanon’s civil war. Four men recount their battlefield stories, broken dreams, and eventual disillusionment in light of the country’s ongoing political crises.
At once artistically and politically audacious, incisive and tender, the film lays bare the daunting reality of Lebanon’s fractured landscape. The film has received wide acclaim, screening at MOMA in New York, the Venice International Film Festival, the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, Beirut DC, The Carthage Film Festival in Tunis, Doc Buenos Aires and Corsica DOC. In October 2010, “We were Communists” was awarded the Black Pearl Award for Best Documentary by an Arab Director at Abu Dhabi. Below is an interview with him conducted by Laila Hotait Salas, herself a 2009 grantee of AFAC’s Arab Documentary Film Program.