Miguel's War MIGUEL'S WAR A film by ELIANE RAHEB MIGUEL'S WAR is the story of a gay man who grew up oppressed and shamed during the Lebanese civil war. Raised by a conservative Catholic father and an authoritarian Syrian mother, teenage Miguel was inhibited by a deep inferiority complex and was incapable of asserting himself. In 1983 the deeply sensitive boy, desperate to prove he "exists" and can act like “a real man” joined the fighting as part of an armed faction. But his experience was a failure. Traumatized he immigrates to Madrid, Spain.

In post-Franco Madrid, Miguel seeks to liberate himself through debauchery. A string of destructive relationships lead him to a failed suicide. Trying to pull himself together, Miguel becomes a conference interpreter in Barcelona. Only then, thirty-seven years after leaving Lebanon, Miguel feels ready to face his trauma and the ghosts of his past, and hopes to regain his emotional balance and maybe even find love.

Using intertwining cinematic forms, melding documentary, animation, theater and archive and filmed on location in Lebanon and Spain, this feature film hopes to offer an experience of self-confrontation, awareness and catharsis.


Running time: 127 min.

Colour: Colour

Shooting format: HD

Languages: Arabic, Spanish

Production countries: Lebanon · Spain

Production: ITAR productions (Lebanon)

Coproduction: Kabinett film (Germany) · Zeitun Films (Spain)

Year: 2021

With Miguel Jelelaty


Director: Eliane Raheb

Scriptwriter: Eliane Raheb

Director of photography: Bassem Fayad

Animation director: Fadi El Samra

Editor: Eliane Raheb

Animation supervisor: Fdz

Original music: Mazen Kerbaj

Sound design: Victor Bresse

Sound: Shadi Roukoz, Amanda Villavieja

Art director: Nader Moussali

Costumes: Anthony Chidiac

Assistant director: Nadim Hobeika

Line producers: Nermine Haddad, Marta del Vigo

Producer: Eliane Raheb

Coproducers: Margot Haiböck · Lissi Muschol · Felipe Lage Coro


Berlinale – Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin. Panorama Section (Germany)

NewFest – New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival (USA). Grand Jury Award

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (Greece)

Istanbul Documentary Days (Turkey)

Lemesos International Documentary Festival (Cyprus)

Queer Lisboa (Portugal)

Luststreifen Film Festival (Switzerland)

Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal (Canada)

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (Japan)

Festival Everybody’s Perfect (Switzerland)

Cinemed (France)

Soura Film Festival (Germany)

MIX Copenhagen (Denmark)

Raindance Film Festival (Reino Unido)

Carthage Film Festival (Túnez)

Southern Lights Frankfurt (Germany)

Leeds International Film Festival (UK)

Escales Documentaires – Festival international de la création documentaire La Rochelle (France)

Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Best Documentary Nomination

Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla (Spain)

Mostra de Cinema Àrab i Mediterrani de Catalunya (Spain)

Rome Independent Film Festival (Italy)

Queer Voices International Film Festival (Moldova)

this human world – International Human Rights Film Festival (Austria)

Antenna International Documentary Film Festival (Australia)

True/False Film Fest (USA)

Ibizacinefest (Spain)

Docs au Féminin (France)

Aflam, Rencontres internationales de cinéma (France)

RPFF – Riga Pasaules Film Festival (Latvia)

ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin (Germany)

International Queer & Migrant Film Festival Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Gabes Cinema Fen (Tunisia)

Festival cinéma du monde de Sherbrooke (Canada)

Festival de Cine LGBTIQ de Asturias (Spain)

XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin (Germany)

SAFAR Film Festival (UK)

Atlàntida Mallorca Film Fest (Spain)

Mizna’s Twin Cities Arab Film Festival (USA)

Queergestreift Film Festival (Germany)

Chéries-Chéris. Festival du Film Lesbien, Gay, Bi, Trans & ++++ de Paris (France). Grand Documentary Award

Arab Film Festival San Francisco (USA)

Kasseler DocFest (Germany)

Director's biography

Lebanese director Eliane Raheb is the creator and director of several award-winning short films and documentaries. Her recent work includes the feature documentaries: Sleepless Nights (5th in Sight and Sound magazine’s listings of the best documentaries of 2013) and Those Who Remain, (screened in over 60 film festivals and winner of the prestigious Etoile de la Scam award).

Eliane Raheb is the founder of ITAR Productions, a company that has produced awardwinning documentaries broadcast on ARTE/ZDF, France 3, France 24, NHK, Al Jadeed and the Al Jazeera Documentary channel, and screened in international film festivals worldwide.

Ms. Raheb is a founding member of the “Beirut DC” Association for Cinema and is the sixtime artistic director of its film festival “Beirut Cinema Days”.

Ms. Raheb has lectured on Arab cinema and screened her films at universities worldwide including: Harvard, Brown, Georgetown and George Mason.

She was artist-in-residence at the prestigious DAAD Arts Program and La Cité des Arts- Paris.

Eliane Raheb’s latest film, Miguel’s War was awarded the Robert Bosch Production Prize and participated in La Fabrique des Cinémas du monde, a co-production platform within Cannes film festival.

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