DUBAI: It is often said that crisis breeds creativity. But this has not been the case for Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki.
“I’m in the most difficult phase of my life where I’m completely uninspired,” said the award-winning director on Wednesday, speaking at the sixth e-Policy Circle, a digital conference hosted by the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi. “Maybe because I’m trying to observe what’s happening and let everything sink in.”
During the talk with UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Noura Al-Kaabi, French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and Director of the Hermitage Museum in Russia Mikhail Piotrovsky, Labaki discussed the future of art after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and how she has been dealing with the current situation.
“We are all trying to do whatever we can, and I am trying as much as I can to use my tool, as a filmmaker, to inform some kind of change. I don’t know if we will ever, in times of such turmoil, be able to change the situation, but at least we are trying to use this tool responsibly,” the 46-year-old talent explained.
The “Capernaum” director said she has recently been working on a campaign that encourages people to grow vegetables at home to promote the idea of “self-sustainability and self-sufficiency.”
“This is not going to solve the economic and political crises we are going through, but maybe we can empower people a little by helping them cultivate their own food or by giving them this sense of going back to an intimate relationship with nature,” she explained.
For Labaki, the ongoing pandemic has signaled the “death of a certain kind of world and the birth of a new world.”
“This crisis has revealed lots of failures in our systems, like the healthcare system, especially for us here in Lebanon,” she said.
Labaki then posed rhetorical questions for participants and viewers to ponder.
“My big question is what the responsibility of art, of culture and of education is in this new world that we are bound to build and create… Have we learned anything and are we in such a hurry to go back to our old lives that we ignore what we have become?”