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"Shahid" ("Martyr"), the latest feature by Lebanese writer-director Mazen Khaled, stages a day in the life of a young man named Hassan (Hamza Mekdad) and a few of his friends.Khaled hasn't framed his film in political or partisan terms.Khaled has related how his film about the aimless poor among Beirut's youth found focus in the true stories of two young men who died while entertaining passers-by by leaping into the sea from the Corniche sidewalk.Documenting Hassan's sense of alienation, the dialogue sequences – with his parents, a thuggish neighborhood pal and his best friend – wouldn't be out of place in a nonfiction film.If anything, the camera's gaze upon Khaled's male figures grows more intimate after Hassan dies.Reinforcing these relatively realistic scenes are the film's several dreamlike sequences. In one, Hassan's nude form floats submerged in the sea.
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