Gate #5 - Rolling Stones Middle East reviewRolling Stones Middle East
A fascinating look at the lives of those working at one of Beirut's busy ports, Gate #5 is, on occasion, disconsolately bleak. Lingering shots of weathered truckers passing the time in comfortable silence, or elderly drivers fondly recounting stories of run-ins with the authorities, all drip with bittersweet nostalgia.
For El Habre, the tales of Gate #5 and how it has changed echo the changes in Lebanon itself, and the plethora of tall tales acts as a window through which the city's tumultuous history can be viewed. The reverence with which he treats the stars - one of whom is his father, which makes the shot of the elderly man undergoing dialysis all the more heart-wrenching - is sacrosanct.
And through the long-winded, tangential anecdotes, El Habre paints a vivid, if depressing, picture of a group of men who have (often literally) sat and watched their country change.
Matt Ross // Rolling Stones Middle East