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It's almost surprising, filmmakers' persistent interest in Lebanon's 1975-90 Civil War.On one hand, the local and foreign press left a rich photo and film archive of the conflict (the convenient parts of it, anyway).Non-Lebanese films on the Civil War have ranged from earnest nonfiction studies to B-movie terror porn, a la "Reel Bad Arabs". There's a shared interest in the cultural, economic and psychological impact of collapsed state authority and photogenic anarchy, though since 1990 other conflicts -- Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq, Syria have provided equally picturesque states of otherness for Western film audiences.The 2018 feature-length doc "About a War" errs on the serious side. Like any number of Lebanese-made nonfictions released since the late-20th century, the film features a handful of Civil War veterans and commentators from "both sides" of the conflict. The film's other principals are Nassim Assaad -- a Lebanese who came of age in Tal al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp, and went on to become a fighter in the Lebanese Communist Party -- and Ahed Bhar a Palestinian born in Shatila camp who joined the PFLP, witnessing the Sabra-Shatila massacre and the War of the Camps.Running a little less than 90 minutes, Weaver and Rugo's film is an engaging and well-made nonfiction work.
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