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Jocelyne Saab (30 April 1948 – 7 January 2019) was a journalist and film director from Lebanon. She is recognized as one of the pioneers of Lebanese cinema[1] and "one of the country's most daring filmmakers".[2]

Jocelyne Saab
Jocelyne saab.jpg
Jocelyne Saab during Vesoul International Asian film festival, 2009.
Born(1948-04-30)30 April 1948
Died7 January 2019(2019-01-07) (aged 70)
OccupationFilm director, Journalist
Notable work
A Suspended Life, Once Upon a Time:Beirut, Dunia



Saab was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. Her first job was hosting a pop music program on the national Lebanese radio station called "Marsipulami got blue eyes." She then became a television newsreader. Once the Lebanese Civil War broke out, Saab started working on documentary films.[3] This marked her turn towards a more personal and essayistic mode of filmmaking as her country was torn apart by conflict. As a curator at Birkbeck, University of London noted: "These beautiful and moving films infuse their powerful documentary footage of daily life amid destruction and displacement with a poetic intensity that transcends the conflict and reaches beyond despair."[4]

After the civil war, Saab continued to make a number of films, in both documentary and fiction.


  • Portrait d'un mercenaire français (1975)
  • Lebanon in a Whirlwind (1975)
  • Les Enfants de la guerre (1976)
  • Sud-Liban – Histoire d'un village (1976)
  • Pour quelques vies (1976)
  • Beyrouth, jamais plus (1976)
  • Égypte, la cite des morts (1978)
  • Lettre de Beyrouth (1979)
  • A Suspended Life (Ghazal el-Banat) (1985)
  • Kanya Ya Ma Kan, Beyrouth (1995)
  • Kiss Me Not on the Eyes (2005)
  • What's Going On, Once Upon A Time: Beirut (2009)


Further readingEdit

  • Dalia Said Mostafa, "Jocelyne Saab: A Lifetime Journey in Search of Freedom and Beauty" in: Josef Gugler (ed.), Ten Arab Filmmakers: Political Dissent and Social Critique, Indiana University Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-253-01644-7, pp 34-50


External linksEdit