By Wajdy Mustafa
Selim falls in love with Julia, an older, married woman with children, who has moved from Aleppo to his village in Tartus, Syria. He is due to leave the village to start his University studies but instead, they run away from their disapproving families to begin a life together in 70’s Beirut, Lebanon.
Julia teaches French and Selim works in an office, dreaming of marriage and children with Julia. For her part Julia is more than she at first appears. She has a past that she keeps hidden from Selim, one that involves Roger from Toulon in France. Gradually, this past becomes the present and eats away at their dreams.
This is a beautifully crafted, deeply moving and fascinating story, set mainly in Beirut, during the 1960’s and 70’s. Between Two Banks, refers to the river of life which connects us all but can also separate us on opposite shores. This tale explores the historical, cultural and social connections and differences between France, Lebanon and Syria through the thoughts, experiences and interconnecting life stories of its three main characters, whilst set against the backdrop of emerging unrest in Lebanon.
It is a tale of love, passion and tragedy, which poignantly highlights the eternal human condition, as love pulls them together to explore its deeper, timeless magic and how crushing reality cruelly tears everything apart.
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