The Disappeared: Suspended Dreams (1992); Lanterns of Memory (2009)

  • Victoria Brittain
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Arab Cinema book series (PASTARCI)


Lebanon’s 17,000 Disappeared from the years of civil war are the centrepieces of Lanterns of Memory (2009) and Suspended Dreams (1992). Mai’s confident emphasis on women as prime storytellers is key to this chapter. Sometimes the scenes are a story told by one woman intimately at home, such as Wadad Hilwani, who emerges from her own grief as a national spokesperson over the years of these films. Archive footage shows groups of women desperately seeking answers from government officials about the fate of their fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers. Powerful repetition is used in face after face of vanished men and boys.


Fayrouz Wadad Hilwani Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Hafez al Assad Samir Qantar Lebanese civil war 


  1. Bergman, Ronen. Rise and Kill, the Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. London: John Murray, 2018.Google Scholar
  2. Fisk, Robert. Pity the Nation. London: Andre Deutsch Limited, 1990.Google Scholar
  3. Halaby, Samia. Drawing the Kafr Qasem Massacre. Amsterdam: Schilt Publishing, 2017.Google Scholar
  4. Hirst, David. Beware of Small States. London: Faber and Faber, 2010.Google Scholar
  5. Randal, Jonathan. The Tragedy of Lebanon. London: The Hogarth Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  6. Sayigh, Rosemary. Too Many Enemies, the Palestinian Experience in Lebanon. London: Zed Books, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Brittain
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations