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This unusual and quite original and even philosophical humorous drama was premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin festival. “Death of a Virgin” was also the first film for the Argentinian-Lebanese filmmaker George Peter Barbari, born in California, who then moved to Lebanon, and he shot the film partly based on what he experienced himself. In an interview I found with Barbara, he talked about how he himself lost his virginity as a young man to a prostitute to whom older friends took him, and he later thought a lot about that event. He will put the main characters of this film in the same situation, four best friends from a small Lebanese town who have just finished high school and are about to enter university, and now they have decided to “treat” themselves to the services of a prostitute in order to take the burden of youth off their shoulders.

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And he decided to hire non-professional actors for Barbara for the film, so Etienne, Adnan, Jean Pal and Dankoura were embodied by four friends who are also called that in reality. Finally, they managed to raise money for a prostitute, and we follow their journey from Etienne’s house to the hotel where the illegal brothel is located. On the way, they talk and fantasize about what they will do with their lives, they joke, they tease each other, but you can feel some insecurity and even fear of the meeting that awaits them. Of course, no one should know their plan because some of them also have girlfriends, but sex with them is not an option before marriage, as some social rules dictate that. At least for women, we see, while young men obviously have ways to get rid of that weight.

However, although perhaps their journey to the brothel seems youthfully carefree, lively, playful or fun, and the restless hand-held camera enhances the naturalistic and authentic impression of the real life of these young men, Barbari performed an interesting trick that not only contrasts the whole situation, but also brings an existential touch to the film. , a contemplative touch. While the socialites playfully go towards their goal, the camera occasionally follows the people they meet and these people reveal to the viewer not only their life stories, but also what they feel, think, what they fear, and how and when they will die.


And it was an alluring experiment during which we will learn not only the details of the lives and fate of the four main protagonists, but also the people they will meet along the way, and maybe they won’t even notice them. This is an interesting reflection, because usually when we pass a stranger on the street, we don’t really think about who and what he is, how his life developed, what troubles him and how it will unravel, so that these segments actually deepen the whole story. While the boys are convinced that what awaits them is the most important event in their lives, we will understand that this short trip is just an insignificant dash in the long journey called life.

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