When it comes to portraying a story that is so close to her heart and has been waiting to be told, it is a story she heard from her grandmother. It is a story of love set in Lebanon during the 1950s, amidst a civil war. Above all, she was driven to make the film by the urge to tell this story, as she stated in an interview. The story of young Alice who leaves Switzerland for Lebanon, a sunny and exuberant country, where she falls in love with Joseph, a mischievous astrophysicist who dreams of sending the first Lebanese into space, is told in Chloé Mazlo’s film “Skies of Lebanon” (Sous le ciel d’Alice). “Skies of Lebanon,” a poetic blend of the personal and the political scene, combines live action with animation to create a vivid picture of Lebanon, inspired by the family history of the director. By using stories—told to her by her grandmother—about life during the Lebanese civil war, Ma-Zlo crafts a touching and heartbreaking story of love during the conflict. The film was selected for the Semaine de la Critique at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. To celebrate the rich contribution of women film directors to the cinematic oeuvre of France, “Skies of Lebanon” was showcased during a two-week-long French Film Festival, organized by the Embassy of France in India and the French Institute in India (IFI) at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre (IHC) on Monday, January 23, 2023. , “With Skies of Lebannon, I wanted to tell the stories of my family, using the tone they used when they talked about the war.” I couldn’t find this tone in the other films that I saw about this particular subject. “So, I thought that it should be done, and I put myself to work!” said the director. Mazlo was so drawn to the story of “Skies of Leba-Non” that she did not regret the flaws that crept in while making the film. When asked if she would make the film the same way again if given the opportunity, the director replied without hesitation, “If I had to remake the film, I would do the same!” I don’t regret anything about the shoot; I know the film has some blunders, but I’m not aiming for perfection. Her words smacked of sheer sincerity and were born out of conviction. Ma-, zlo, a visual arts and graphic design student, sees cinema as an “amazing confluence” of various forms of art that he discovered through animation and a desire to tell stories. 

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