Waves '98

Directed by Ely Dagher

Starring Elie Bassila and Cherine Khoury

Disillusioned with his life in the suburbs of segregated Beirut, Omar's unusual discovery lures him into the depth of the city. Immersed into a world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality, he finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home.


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  • ★★★★ review by ScreeningNotes on Letterboxd

    Sundance 2016: #3 – Animation Spotlight

    Short #2

    Surreal, enigmatic portrait of a young man feeling lost and listless and finding some sort of escape with a new group of friends—but at a psychological price.

    Easily my favorite of the animated shorts. Waves '98 is brave and ambitious with the amount of ambiguity it presents (the director also smartly refused to explain the symbolism in the film). I certainly couldn't explain what it all "means" without watching it several more times (and perhaps without getting to know the filmmaker himself), but I got a stronger sense of the character and his emotional/psychological state than any other short.

    There's also a creative mix of animation with live action, and some of the shots of the city are show-stoppingly gorgeous.

    Not sure where you'll be able to find this outside of Sundance for now, but definitely worth keeping your eyes out for this one.

    Watch the trailer here

  • ★★★★ review by Kathleen Bu on Letterboxd

    Amazing visual mix of animation & real life. An emotional story that almost everyone can relate too about feeling stuck in a world that repeats cycles over and over again. Beautiful, haunting, mesmerising. Everyone should watch this.

  • ★★★½ review by Dylan on Letterboxd


  • ★★★★ review by Joseph on Letterboxd

    I really liked it. It seems to me like a focused version of the same type of struggle as A Scanner Darkly. The meaning of animation and live action was great too. It’s also nice to see a surrealist film from this area, something I don’t have much experience with.

  • ★★★★½ review by Leonardo on Letterboxd

    I'm not entirely sure of what I've just seen but I know I've never seen anything like it

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