In Memory of Hatem Ali & Elias Rahbani
A month since Syrian director Hatem Ali passed away, and 25 days since Elias Rahbani’s passing. I was looking for a way to honour these two amazing gentlemen. I chose to cover the movie Silina, directed by the late Hatem Ali. The late Mansour Rahbani wrote the scenario and the dialogue.
Silina is a lovely remake of a Fairouz play entitled Hala wel Malek (Hala and the king). The movie honours classical Arabic music and has a modern touch to it- a balance of the two worlds. The songs’ compositions have the original music by the Rahbani brothers and have a contemporary feel. The sound of these pieces is timeless. The rhythm is smooth and flowy. Hearing the music and watching the dancing together was beautiful. The choreography is majestic, just like the original version. It visually adds a whimsical touch to the movie, just like in the play.
Myriam Fares, a Lebanese Popstar whose performance as Hala was fantastic. She had her distinct style of the character without imitating Fairouz. The actors Duraid Lahham, Basel Khayyat, George Khabbaz, and Antoine Kerbaj sang incredibly and beautifully. The musical moments by Hossam Tahseen Bek, Aiman Reda, André Skaf and the late Nidal Sejari were also impressive. The songs played an essential role in the movie and acted as details for the dialogue between them.
I met Hatem Ali on March 29, 2019, at a lecture held in Montreal. I spoke to him briefly. It’s a moment I will hopefully treasure for years to come. That’s why I was devastated, like many of us, when I heard the news of his passing. A month already, and it still feels like a shock and hard to believe—my condolences to his family, colleagues and fans alike around the world.
Other TV shows had songs for them, such as Salah-Al-Din Al Ayoubi (Saladin), Ahlam Kabeera (Big Dreams), Asi Al-Damaa (The tears that stick).
Also, I would like to extend my condolences to Elias Rahbani’s loved ones.