Genet à Chatila

Genet à Chatila

A film by Richard Dindo followed by a Q&A with Leila Shahid moderated by Frank Barat

Documentary | 95′ | 2000

1982 applies to many Palestinians as the beginning of a continuing nightmare . In September of that year, the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila were invaded by Phalangists. Many were killed in horrible ways. At that time, the French writer Jean Genet (1910-1986) stayed in Beirut , not far from the camps . After the massacre, he spent four hours in Shatila. What he saw and heard there made ​​an indelible impression on him. Over a year later, after not having written for twenty years, he started a new book. Un captif amoureux (A captive in love) in which Genet describes his experiences with the Palestinians and their struggle for freedom, became his last book. While correcting the proofs, Genet died of cancer. In the film, the actress Mounia follows the footsteps of Genet and thus reconstructs an important episode in his life.


Richard Dindo is a Swiss documentary film director. He made his first film in 1970. Born in Zurich in 1944 as the grandson of Italian immigrants to Switzerland. After leaving school at age 15, Dindo began travelling and doing odd jobs. He moved to Paris in 1966. Watching several films a day at the Cinémathèque Française and reading hundreds of books formed the basis of his education as a self-taught filmmaker. In 1970 he returned to Switzerland to make his first film, Repetition(Die Wiederholung). Since then, he has been based in Zurich and Paris, and has made over twenty documentaries and one fiction film, El Suizo. Dindo’s films have been shown all over the world, including retrospectives in Germany, France, the United States, Canada and Argentina.

Leila Shahid was born in 1949 of Palestinian parents but lived in exile in Libanon. She studied Anthropology at the American University in Beirut and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Leila is the first woman ambassador of Palestine. She is also ‘General Delegate of Palestine at the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg since december 2005. Leila Shahid previously served as General Delegate of Palestine in France between 1993- 2005, UNESCO in 1993-1996, the Netherlands in 1990-1993 and Ireland in 1989 – 1990.

Frank Barat is a human right activist. He is the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and the International coordinator for the campaign Free Marwan Barghouti and all prisoners. He has collaborated in many books on Palestine, including his book with Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe “Gaza in Crisis”. Frank  is one of the producers of the radio show “Le Mur a des Oreilles; conversations for Palestine”. He has directed 2 documentary on Palestine “9 days in Palestine” and “Life under occupation” and he writes for Al Jazeera English, The Electronic Intifada, The new internationalist, Mondoweiss and other publications.