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Perhaps What I Fear Does Not Exist

Spring Grants 2019

Corine Shawi / Feature Documentary / Lebanon, Qatar / 70 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Biography, Creative Documentary


“I can’t believe this is happening”, I said to myself when my father’s body failed unexpectedly, two years ago. Who would have known that he would end up being paraplegic after all this time? We were living a life we could call normal before it proved us wrong. The hospital rooms became our new home where we could cook, live, sleep and gather with the few remaining friends and the family members. My mother, a long-time believer, prays to God and the saints wishing desperately for a change in the situation. When nothing seems to go right, we try to call for a miracle. With my camera, I follow my mother in her perpetual prayers, by questioning her faith and what is keeping her going. I film to try to accept what life put us through, to understand the weakness of the body, its complexity and how it can affect the soul. If the body fails to move, does the soul cease as well? Will my father’s strong hopes help him move again? Through my lens, I explore the human condition and the power of faith while observing a daily struggle become an ordinary way of living.


Corine Shawi
Corine Shawi
Myriam Sassine

About the Director

Born in Lebanon in 1981, Corine Shawi directed her first feature documentary ‘Les Femmes Bonnes’ from 2000 to 2006 observing the life of Sri Lankan women. She then directed several short documentaries. ‘Oxygen’ (2007) squeezes her family to discuss a taboo matter, ‘Affinity’ (2007) reflects on friendship’s boundaries, ‘Film of Welcome and Farewells’ (2009) depicts loneliness and death in Copenhagen. In 2010, ‘Je t’aime Infiniment’ premiered in CPH: DOX 2010 and examines the fragility of human beings. In 2013, ‘E muet’, concerned with friendship, love and its expression, premiered in FID Marseille international competition and got screened in MK2 Beaubourg, KVIFF, JCC–Tunis among other international venues and festivals. Corine has been a consultant for the National Film School of Denmark, helping to implement an exchange program of filmmakers between Lebanon and Denmark. She has also been teaching documentary filmmaking since 2011 at Saint Joseph University, Lebanon.


  • Main Contact

    Myriam Sassine

    Abbout Productions

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