25 Years after her debut film Lebanon…Imprisoned Splendour Daizy Gedeon returns to her ancestral homeland to discover that the people are frustrated. Frustrated with a system that doesn’t provide even reliable basic services and infrastructure; good roads, clean water, electricity, garbage collection, jobs and more. Frustrated that they are forced to navigate their way around a system that supports a corrupt and archaic bureaucracy, that serves only big business and the traditional warlords who now occupy high office. Frustrated that the dream of Lebanon and its people are disintegrating before their eyes. With a thirst for answers and meaning to the inequality that pervades daily life in Lebanon, Daizy meets people from all walks of life to discover why the ‘people’ are the only thing keeping the dream of Lebanon alive.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
After emerging from the Lebanese Civil War a divided and weakened nation Lebanon has spent the last 30 years rebuilding. As a result of the war 20% of the countries population moved permanently overseas and many remain internally displaced. Internally the population faces a raft of issues; corruption, a lack of basic services and amenities and fundematally a system that works for the few not the many. In discussion with a wide range of people both in Lebanon and the diaspora and from all walks of life Daizy seeks to discover how Lebanon has rebuilt and seeks to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past as well as what keeps this country and the irrepressible spirit of its citizens together.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
Through this film we seek to end the apathy that a generation of Lebanese people exist in. We want to empower the population both inside and outside Lebanon to stand up and say enough is enough! Through telling the story we will contribute to empowering the Lebanese community to understand and act.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
We have focussed on three areas for key outcomes related to the film; Increasing discussion and engagement in Lebanon and Lebanese affairs amongst the diaspora, a deeper engagement in the outcomes of politics in Lebanon and overall raising awareness of the issues that Lebanon faces.
In the short term this will be measurable by attendance at screenings as well as following social media tags created by us for mentions of the film and its immediate impact.
In the medium to long term we hope to see an increased participation in groups and activities associated with Lebanese politics. If we can encourage people to become more independent minded and contribute to new and emerging groups that promote indiepence rather than the status quo we will have succeeded.
In addition we want this film to be taken up as an educational tool to help people from an array of backgrounds to learn about Lebanon and the plight of its people and apply those lessons to themselves and their own distinct group.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We have many partnerships with organisations in our issue area ranging from advocacy groups in Lebanon (Helem), to IGO’s (UNICIEF), NGO’s (The Arab American Institute), community groups across the diaspora as well as influential individuals inside and outside Lebanon. These relationships have been important in informing the project by shining a light on the complexity of the issues facing Lebanon.Through these groups and individuals we have made a concerted effort to provide our audience with a range of voices from across the political and social spectrum in Lebanon and the diaspora. This diversity of opinion will be key in presenting a full and balanced discussion on key issues.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
There will be different actions from viewers inside Lebanon to those outside Lebanon.
We want viewers inside Lebanon to take the message we are sharing and use it to spur their engagement in shaping the future of Lebanon. For too long the same groups have ruled Lebanon and imposed their corrupt practices on the population. We want our audience to heed the call and become involved in promoting a more independent country.
The actions for our audience outside Lebanon will be focussed on increasing awareness and engagement and supporting change. A second generation immigrant living in Australia talking to family in Lebanon and discussing the film and its key issues would be a great example.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
There will be a number of measurable indicators for success that we will be tracking throughout the release of the film. The first will be increased engagement in discussion through our social media channels and hashtags. Second, has there been an increase in participation for groups associated with the film? Are people increasing their involvement and awareness of political groups who promote independence?
We will have realised our impact vision when we see a higher leve of engagement in the issues through our indicators of success.