In the early 1960s, during the Cold War and at the height of Pan-Arabism, a group of students in Beirut entered into the space race - forming the Lebanese Rocket Society. The group, led by Manoug Manougian, their mathematics professor, produced the first rocket in the Arab world thanks to their desire to contribute to space study and exploration. They had no militaristic objectives. Considering the social and political divisions of the time in the region, it seems inconceivable that a small team of dreamers were even allowed to build, let alone launch, rockets into Middle Eastern skies. Against the odds, they were successful in their mission and became a source of national pride; even so, their story was completely forgotten from Lebanese history. Filmmaker and visual artist duo Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas set out to investigate the whole story and find out the protagonists and the valuable documentation around it. Through their work with photographs, archives and animation, as well as reconstitutions and art installations, they question the reliability of the past and what it means to revisit it in the present as a tribute to dreamers.
Hampar Karageozian, Harry Koundakjian, Manoug Manougian, John Markarian, Joseph Sfeir