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Memory is one of the ripe fruit of contemporary art. All you need do is misplace something – your car keys, your identity – to figure out why. The film was shot in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, so those who have not watched it may assume "The Valley" is somehow "about" the Bekaa, or Lebanon.Salhab's films are like this – languorous narratives apparently less concerned with where they're going than in the images that can be found along the way, and what these can provoke in anyone who bothers to look.A man in a bloodied white shirt (Carlos Chahine) pulls himself up from a hillside where his car's crashed and staggers back to the road.Nearby, two men named Marwan and Ali (Fadi Abi Samra and Munzer Baalbaki), struggle to repair their car. The writer-director's fifth feature-length fiction, "The Valley" is designed as a free-standing film, yet it does bear certain similarities to his 2010 feature "The Mountain," which also featured Fadi Abi Samra.Superficially "The Mountain" and "The Valley" are quite unlike one another. Most locations in the previous work are interiors; the new film embraces the cinematic possibilities of the Bekaa – and cinematographer Bassem Fayad takes full advantage of its stark juxtapositions of sky and soil.
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