Movie of the Month #2: Voyageur: Marcel Khalife

Renowned Lebanese composer, Oud master and singer, Marcel Khalife is commonly regarded as one of the leading musical icons within the Arabic speaking world. 

In celebration of Marcel Khalife’s 70th birthday, we streamed ‘Voyageur”, an engrossing audio-visual documentary that covers the life and journeys of Marcel in a way never seen before. In this film, the camera travels with Marcel as he shares his compositions with audiences around the world, while debating the intricacies of political, religious and social influences in the region. Going beyond his creative legacy, the film also encompasses the bigger political and social changes surrounding the years 2002-2004, reflecting on the state of affairs both in Lebanon and the Arab world.

The film features appearances from renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, whose poem “أنا يوسف يا أبي” (Oh my father, I am Joseph) was put to music by Marcel to the dismay of some religious clerics (leading to the controversial trial against Marcel in 2003). With commentary and analyses by Elias Khoury (a prominent Lebanese novelist and intellectual) and May Mnassa (the award-winning Lebanese novelist and critic), “Voyageur” is an unparalleled story behind Marcel’s life and legacy. 

The film was live on this page (with both English and French Subtitles) from July 06 – July 30. 

With special thanks to our partners Al Balad Music FestivalAl Balad TheatreAmman Jazz FestivalArabesquesBeirut and Beyond International Music FestivalD-CAF Festival, Marcel Khalife, NYUAD Arts Center, The Arab British Centre, Yabous Cultural Centre and WAW al Balad.