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Archive for October 27th, 2013

“Sleepless Nights” and the Clown (Me In)

Clownme-in. blogspost.com posted this Oct. 26, 2013

Sleepless Nights ( documentary dir. Eliane Raheb)
Through the stories of Assaad Shaftari, a former high ranking intelligence officer in a Christian right wing militia, responsible for many casualties in the protracted civil war in Lebanon, and Maryam Saiidi, the mother of Maher, a missing young communist fighter who disappeared in 1982, the film digs in the war wounds and asks if redemption and forgiveness are possible.  One of the scenes shows bits of the process from when Assaad Shaftari was taking a Clown Me In workshop.Naturally, Gabriela Munoz and Sabine Choucair were thrilled to have Assaad Shaftari going through the workshop. Moreover, we were very happy to have been involved in such an important movie like “Sleepless Nights”.I have been reading and hearing lots of controversial reactions toward this scene. ( mostly extreme ones)

Below some bits and pieces from different articles. Would love to hear your thoughts in case you’ve watched the movie.
And if you haven’t yet, it is still showing in Lebanon @Metropolis Empire Sofil, Achrafieh, at 4:30 pm, 7:15pm and 10:00pm ( until the 30th of October)
Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
Oct. 26, 2013 2:30 pm
bits and pieces: 
“في الفيلم مشهد يلعب فيه أسعد الشفتري دور المهرج، كل من يشاهد الفيلم سيصاب بنوبة محددة أثناء مشاهدته ربما ضحك وربما بكاء، وربما سترتسم على وجهه ضحكة والدموع تنهمر. مشهد المهرج يحملنا الى العلاقة الجدلية بين الأمل والمسامحة الذاتية وعلاقة الآخرين وموقفهم من الجريمة. ظهر في عيون أسعد أنه لم يسامح نفسه، يقول ابنه في أحد المشاهد ” لازم يخفف اعتذارات “. ربما هو لن يتوقف عن الاعتذار لأنه لم يعترف بكل الأخطاء بعد. ” 
In the film, Assaad Chaftari plays the role of a clown. While watching this scene you will surely feel something extreme, you might laugh or cry, and maybe smile and cry at the same time. This clown scene leads us to the dialectical relationship between hope and self-forgiveness and the relationship with others. we could see in the eyes of Chaftari that he did not forgive himself. His son says in one of the scenes: ” he should apologize less“. Maybe Chaftari won’t stop apologizing because he did not confess all his sins yet“. 
“قالت لي سيدة صديقة بعد العرض أنها لم تجد مبرّرا لمشهد تمثيل أسعد الشفتري دورَ “المهرّج” كما لو أنه خرج عن موقعه في فيلم وثائقي. أنا كان رأيي العكس تماما. لقد بدا المشهد أحد أقوى عناصر الفيلم وأكثرِها إبداعاً. إنْ لم يكن أقواها. كان هذا المشهد، الذي أدّاه الشفتري بنجاح، التعبيرَ – الذروةَ عن المسافة الشاسعة عن نفسه التي استطاع تحقيقها. كانت قدرة مفاجئة على التهكّم على نفسه. التهريج بمعنى المعاقبة الشديدة للنفس. وبهذا كانت لحظةَ قوّةٍ للفيلم ولأسعد الشفتري لا لحظة خِفّة… غيرُ التوثيقيِّ أي المتخيَّلُ يؤكّد قوّةَ التوثيقي أي الواقعي. أكاد أجزم: يؤكّد صحة التوثيقي.” جهاد الزين- جريدة النهار


“A lady friend told me that she did not find any justification for the scene where Assaad plays the role of a clown, as if he came out of his position in a documentary film . I had the exact opposite opinion. The scene was one of the strongest and most creative parts of the film. This was the scene where Chaftari alienated from himself.  He had this great capacity of ridiculing himself. Clowning in the sense of self punishment and for that this was a moment of strength etc…” Jihad El Zein, Annahar newspaper
“In other places, the film appears to fragment its images for the sake of style. It veers into outright surrealism late, when Abbas is shown acting as a clown during a therapy session. The filmmakers think this is important enough to title this section of the film, “The Clown,” but I found it digressive and mannered, a quality that it transfers to the overall film itself. It tends to recast Abass’s participation in the reconciliation process as a farce, though that’s admittedly the point. These kinds of arty excrescences are an encumbrance on a film that is probably too long.” krelllabs.blogspot.com
“In one morbidly hilarious and satisfying scene Saiidi bitingly dismiss the psychobabble of a therapist blithely sweeping matters under the rug; in another, Shaftari performs as a clown in a theater exercise. These are “scenes” in the sense that Raheb is constantly searching for new twists and turns on engaging with and reconsidering the past. ” Nicolas Rapold, filmcomment.com
 “Sleepless Nights spins to an almost surreal final act, as the performative aspects of cultural “remembrance” are shown in clown, shows and cheesy songs.” Robert Greene, Hammer To Nail.com
“Raheb supplements the film’s emotional palette with sparks of humor – often in the wry observations of Shaftari’s wife and son – and a peculiar moment near the end of the film when the retired assassin is shown performing during a clowning workshop, red nose and all.” Jim Quilty, The Daily Star
في أحد المشاهد الختامية، تتبع المخرجة الشفتري في جلسة علاجية يتحوّل فيها الى مهرّج، ونراه للمرة الاولى في وجه مختلف. ساندرا الخوري Albaladonline
In one of the final scenes, the director follows Chaftari to a therapy session where he becomes a clown, and for once, we see a different face of him. Sandra El Khoury, Al Balad Online newspaper

Comfort Zone: Nemesis to mankind’s peace of mind…

Comfort Zone is what people are ready to commit anything to retain it, a while longer…

People kill people

People hurt people, humiliate people, antagonize people… to hang on to their comfort zone, a while longer…

And people have experienced many times that comfort zone never lasts: Economic conditions change, you get fired, transferred, calamities hit your comfort zone, destroy your cozy home, disturb your daily habits...

Comfort zone is synonymous with refusing to change daily habits, seasonal habits…

People oppose nomadic life-style to settled people in comfortable zones. Wrong!

A nomad also has his comfort zones, and live according to a set of daily habits, eating certain food…

Imagine a nomadic tribe moving to the well-worn summer location and discovering this sign “Do not trespass“.

Maybe the State has decided that the summer location for the tribe is better used for target range shooting, digging oil wells, a power plant or establishing a new urban center…

Do you think that the first reaction of the nomad is “Oh well, I’ll move to the adjacent district… the grass is greener and it is more isolated for my women and kids…”

No!. The nomad will reclaim is entitled right that years of habits and customs made it unreasonable to change his summer location…

This particular summer location is his comfort zone that his pre-programmed brain expected

It is this pre-programmed brain on daily habits that physically ache and turn someone into an angry person, ready to “snatch” his right, any which way he can…

People oppose comfort zone with homelessness. Wrong!

Even a homeless person has his comfort zone, his daily habits, his corner in a street, his “clients”, the places he goes to piss, wash his face, restaurant he patronizes…

Do you think when the policeman chases a homeless out from his location, the reaction will be “Oh well. No sweat. I’ll just move to the adjacent street…”

This homeless, depending on how long has remained in this particular location, will commit a lot of mischief and demonstrate plenty of determination and stubbornness to retain and return to his “favorite” comfort zone.

In the mind of many, comfort zone is associated with a cozy home, contented family surrounding... That’s not necessarily the case.

Many people consider home a place to run away from: Their comfort zone is out of home.

Actually, many mid-age people find the shed the ideal location for peace of mind.

Many persons are constantly traveling: Their comfort zones are particular franchise hotels, restaurants, selected airlines

You have a person who got finally bored of his urban setting and feels that he has to make a change and move on. If he goes to the suburb, his brain initial reaction is to find similar facilities that the mental system was used to. The person will be driving around selecting the right supermarket, the covered swimming pool, the running track… all the facilities that matched his previous comfort zone.

The person might decide to move to a more natural setting, like in a forest, on the assumption of living like a natural savage. Do you think that he starts cutting his own fire wood, gathering what the land produces…? Most probably, the person will get behind the wheel and drive for miles in search of facilities his mental model ached to find what matched the previous comfort zone.

People will not return and settle in “nature” voluntarily.

If many people are forced to be transferred to an isolated land, you see shacks sprouting as shops in order to satisfy the habits of urban facilities.

Comfort zone precedes mankind urbanization.

Comfort zone is a mechanism that the brain seeks in order to facilitate the navigation of mankind in a new environment, to getting used to a new setting, and allowing the unconscious to decide after the daily habits are nailed down.

Disturbing comfort zone is the root of mankind aggressive behavior.

We don’t consciously seek a comfort zone: this tendency comes naturally, a pre-programmed behavior that the brain requires in order to function smoothly and automatically. Our system wants to rearrange a zone to match what it was used to evolve within.

Training and practice to shed this comfort zone behavior is not feasible.

As your senses get used to an environment and you move around without consciously noticing location and the crowd… that means you have already settled in a comfort zone. Basically, a couple of days is generally good enough to get in automatic motion around the new environment…

The best remedy is to begin enjoying doing the daily maintenance tasks in your home: sweeping, mopping, doing dishes, cooking...

As you move to a new location, get on the daily house chores since your system was trained to perform on a daily basis. This habit might fool the brain for a period, until it gets used to the new environment…

Colonial powers systematically disturbed the comfort zone of the indigenous people around the world.

In the name of their people, the colonial powers abused the indigenous people so that the elite classes amass more wealth and accumulate more power.

In the name of their people who didn’t ask for that kinds of higher standards of living… millions of indigenous people were humiliated and enslaved for centuries

How suicide bomber saves his penis?

In a previous post, I mentioned how a woman, getting ready to blow herself up in a suicide bombing act, had a reversal of conscious with this rational: “I don’t really care to go in paradise as a virgin: Fuck all these stupid juvenile martyrs who don’t know how to make love. I would rather have an experienced cook and a talented fashion designer at my service in paradise...”

https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/female-taliban-suicide-bomber-hates-the-idea-of-virgin-males-in-heaven-preferred-to-trade-the-72-virgin-males-for-an-experienced-masseuse-a-butler-and-a-chef/

And this “very handsome” suicide bomber meant to save his penis after his body is blown to pieces. He was wearing a metal shield around his penis…

Can you be more stupid than this?</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>Failed Taliban suicide bomber was arrested and a full body search by police revealed a protective metal shield around his penis. Asked for its purpose, his response was damn funny, he wanted to keep his penis safe after blowing himself up, so as not to have any intimate problems when he meets 72 virgins in paradise.
Can you be more stupid than this?
Failed Taliban suicide bomber was arrested and a full body search by police revealed a protective metal shield around his penis.
Asked for its purpose, his response was damn funny, he wanted to keep his penis safe after blowing himself up, so as not to have any intimate problems when he meets 72 virgins in paradise.
Another good reason for this woman not to go to paradise that soon: Imaging simple penises crawling toward her vagina….
Listen to this song: “No women, no drive”.
Saudi Arabia obscurantist Wahhabi monarchy give going to crack down hard on women demonstrating for the right to drive cars.
No Woman, No Drive

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