American University of Beirut

Documentary Film

​​At CASAR we make a point of supplementing our lecture series with regular films screenings, often inviting directors or producers to show their films and hold discussions. Below are a few examples of documentary screenings and discussions that have taken place at CASAR, including trailers from the films. We also offer standalone film screenings from time to time in order to offer the community exposure to films that are enriching and relevant to our work in American studies. Finally, in 2010 we produced a short film about street art in Beirut, Graffiti Beirut, which we are proud to present here to the global community for the first time.​​

​Graffiti Beirut, a documentary short film produced by CASAR

This film was filmed and directed by Carole Mansour, a Lebanese filmmaker of Palestinian origin who founded Forward Film Productions in 2000. Mansour's work has been widely celebrated with awards such as "Best Short International Documentary" at the New Zealand film festival, which was awarded to her film about the 2006 Israeli War on Lebanon, A Summer Not to ForgetGraffiti Beirut follows Henry Chalfant, the renowned chronicler of American street art and breakdance, and the author of The Graffiti Archives, as he tours the graffiti of Beirut. CASAR invited Chalfant to AUB in 2010 to deliver a lecture and participate in the center's production of this short documentary film. To see Chalfant's lecture, visit our lecture series highlights page. ​

Graffiti Beirut ​- by Carol Mansour featuring Henry Chalfant

Black Russians, a film screening and discussion with filmmaker Kara Lynch of Hampshire College

CASAR brought​ Kara Lynch, a video, sound, and performance artist and Professor of Video and Cultural Studies at Hampshire colllege,​ to screen and discuss her film, Black Russians, at AUB in January of 2014. 

​Lynch's description of the film: "Black Russians is a feature length documentary that investigates the lives of contemporary Afro-Russians aged 10 to 65 who are born and raised in Soviet Russia. Their experiences chronicle two ideological currents that have shaped major international events in the twentieth century: race and communism. Intimate interviews with a poet, a film producer, a reggae artist, a businessman and others, all Black and all Russian, guide us through this story of promise and non-discrimination. Archive images reveal rarely seen footage of Black political leaders in the Soviet Union, like Paul Robeson, Kwame Nkruma and Angela Davis. More than a decade after the 'fall of communism' a new Russia struggles to steady itself in the wave of nationalism from within and the pressures of global capitalism from without. Black Russians constructs a deeply personal account of the effects of political issues such as migration, identity and loss on a minority community in the vast remains of the Soviet Union."

United in Anger: A​ History of Act Up​, a film screening and discussion with producers Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman

A screening and discussion of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a film about the famous activist group, ACT UP​, took place at CASAR in February of 2015. This inspiring documentary is about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches fighting the epidemic. Utilizing oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and government neglect.


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