Christian Ghazi was born on the 19th of November 1934 in Antioche, Turkey to a French mother and a Lebanese father. His family moved to Syria then to Lebanon in 1939 where he studied, worked, lived and witnessed the destruction of his work and the burning of all his films.
While working in the newspaper Le Soir and as a philosophy teacher, Christian Ghazi was studying music at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (1959). Later he worked at the TV station Lubnan Wal Mashreq, and at the same time started to make documentaries. His first 12 documentaries, which were commissioned by the ministry of tourism in 1964 were all banned and burned for being subversive. Christian had filmed people at the Casino du Liban and in restaurants, the misery of peasants in the north and south of the country, then matched the video of the Casino with the audio of the peasants, and vice versa. This would not be the only time; in 1988 while Christian was away in Africa, his house in Beirut was destroyed by local militia, and again all his films were burned.
Between 1964 and 1988, this veteran filmmaker had an abundant production of 29 films – mostly about the Palestinian resistance, but also about the Lebanese war, misery, refugees, etc…
The only remnants of his films are One Hundred Faces for a Single Day, which he considered as his ‘manifesto of cinema’ (the only copy of this film was found in Damascus where it competed in an alternative film festival and won the critics award).
Twelve years after his great loss, Christian realized Coffin of the Memory (2001), a documentary ‘about the political insularity, and apathy prevalent among so many Lebanese, despite the violence suffered by the people in the region, in Palestine and Iraq’, according to his own words.
Christian Ghazi passed away in Beirut in 2013.
1962: “Rachana” feature documentary (60′) on the sculpture Michel Basbous.
- 1964: “Tourism and touristic places”: 12 medium lenght documentaries (40′ to 42′) produced by the ministry of tourism; all films burned in 1964.
- 1967: “Al Fedayoun” (42′), his only fiction film on the palestinian resistance and its necessity.
- 1968: Documentary about the city of Petra in jordan.
He joins the Palestinian resistance.
- 1969-1970″ “One hundred faces for a single day”: documentary (76′ reduced to 63′), this film is his “manifesto of cinema” in wich he explains his choice of this kind of documentary – his own one – and his particular direction of the actors.
- 1969: “Why the resistance?” , 5 short documentaries.
- 1970: “Life in the camps”: 4 feature documentaries made within the framework of this manifesto.
- 1970: “Tobacco plantation workers in the south”: documentary.
In the 1970s, he also made 2 feature documentaries about the hadramout and kurdistan (made from archive images).
- 1971: “The other face of the refugees”: 2 documentaries (120′ each) about all kinds of refugees, ethnic, religious…implanted in lebanon, and their relation to the major religious groups.
- 1972: A documentary of 64′ about rural emigration to the city; settlement, lifestyle, work conditions, unemployment.
- 1974: Feature documentary about the old cultivators and tobacco cultivators in Lebanon (70′).
- 1976: Feature documentary about the so called “the misery belt” around Beirut.
- 1976: “Death in Lebanon”: feature documentary (80′).
- 1978: Trilogy of documentaries about the “profound causes of the Lebanese ailing” (3×120′).
- 1980: 2 feature documentaries about the people who were “left on their own” on the front lines during the war (2×65′).
- 1982: 4 features documentaries about the “conditions of the displaced by the 3 civil wars in Lebanon” (80′ to 120′).
- 1983: “A fighter in the rain”: feature documentary (100′).
- 2001: “Coffin of the memory”: documentary (42′ 20”).