Rabih Mroué and Lina Saneh 33 rpm and a few seconds


A key figure in a new generation of artistic voices in Lebanon. . . at the crossroads of theater, performance, and visual arts.
—The Andy Warhol Museum

My works deal with issues that have been swept under the table in the current political climate of Lebanon.
—Rabih Mroué

They are to Beirut what the Wooster Group is to New York: a blend of avant-garde innovation, conceptual complexity and political urgency, all grounded in earthy humor. —New York Times

A young Lebanese man takes his own life, declaring in a farewell letter that his reasons are personal and have nothing to do with politics. His suicide mobilizes an entire society desperately in search of meaning: institutions (official and unofficial, religious and secular, left-wing and right-wing) and individuals (young and old) find their own reasons for the tragedy. Does the young man’s death belong to the public or only to him and his family? Did he hope his act would spur an uprising?

In 33 rpm and a few seconds, the stage is his vacant apartment, where everything lives on, vibrating and communicating: the television, the answering machine, and the computer. Time pauses and begins anew. History is pieced together—yet never fully constructed—from fragments of communication. In this semi-documentary work, collaborators Rabih Mroué and Lina Saneh astutely reconstruct the final moments of the young man’s life and ponder the problems of Lebanon, where the revolutions of the Arab Spring have failed to take hold. (Read Rabih Mroue’s thoughts on the Arab Spring.)

In Arabic, English, and French with English subtitles
Running time: 60 minutes, no intermission