Footage from the 1980s gets me every time. It’s the graininess, I think, and the punchy contrast that sometimes convinces me I’m seeing the world through all the wrong lenses.
It can be an eerie feeling watching a man’s grainy and somewhat abstracted face rush across the screen. But what if the element of familiarity jumps at you and you recognize the beard, or maybe the color of his hair, or the trademark cigarette in between his index and middle fingers in his left hand?
This might sound unreasonable to you but that element of familiarity is what has kept me from Sabra and Shatila. The massacre, its memory now thirty years old, caught on film, tape, and paper, has tested me each time its anniversary solemnly marched by.
Sure, I know a bit of the history and background of one of the world’s most gruesome, most forgotten massacres. But ask me if I’ve seen any footage or if I’ve ever looked into primary sources beyond face value and you’d get an embarrassed ‘no’.
That changed yesterday. I managed to find a few scattered clips of the 1982 massacre. I spent much of the afternoon and evening catching up on my history. [Read more...]