Prologue

Prologue
Raed & Rania Rafei
2011
Digital video
49 minutes

In March 1974, a group of Lebanese radical leftist students occupied the campus of the American University of Beirut (AUB). They were protesting against cultural and political imperialism and social injustices at a time when Lebanon was sliding into civil violence. Prologue revisits this emblematic incident in the history of the country through the eyes of young political activists. It explores the sequence of events that led to the occupation of AUB by students in 1974 in light of present-day Arab revolutions. The film meticulously deconstructs the themes pertaining to any revolution: what drives change? What mobilizes the masses? What is the place of revolutionary violence? How is individual consciousness inscribed in the collective will? 

Prologue blurs the lines between reality and fiction, action and intention, past and present.
Prologue is the initial phase of a feature film, 74 (The Reconstitution of a Struggle).

Raed Rafei is a Lebanese scholar, filmmaker and multimedia journalist. For over ten years, he worked as a Middle East reporter for national and international publications and researcher, producer and director of TV news reports and documentaries for channels like Al-Jazeera, CNN and ARTE. Since 2011, Rafei has been making independent hybrid films that screened at international film festivals and received several awards. His films include: 74 (The Reconstitution of a Struggle) (2012), and Here I am … Here you are (2016). Rafei is currently based in California where he is pursuing a PhD in Film and Digital Media at the University of California in Santa Cruz.