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Coming Back to Life

Coming back to life is an architecture movie, a cinematic narrative loaded with emotional content and dramatic sceneries.

The movie revolves around an architect’s obsession with Burj El Murr, the tower of bitterness, a soaring monument and an old legacy of war, in the heart of Beirut.

On a stormy evening in Beirut, our mystery man enters his gloomy apartment, littered with the telltale signs of his obsession, to be surprised by an emerging structure suspended on the walls of the tower, silhouetted against the fiery red ball of the setting Blood Moon.

Suddenly, the disbelief is interrupted by a noise that appears to come out of the TVs, and the frame blackouts out when it gets closer to the window.

Directly we are transported inside an opening of the Burj El Murr, to ascend the body of the concrete brute, passing through the Void and the Green Space, where trees start to grow inside, encapsulating the concrete, eating away its lifelessness and giving the tower a heartbeat.

At the peak, between the wispy clouds, lies a dark room: the Memorial. You can spot a ray of light emerging through the crack in the ceiling, enlightening the names of the martyrs on the rusty wall. The rain floods the concrete mushroom, the water drops racing on its surface to the floor and forming a pond under its umbrella.

Next, the scene falls into the Reception, capturing a large room with dozens of hanging light bulbs that slowly light up to reveal a wall covered with jagged shards of mirrored glass. On an old desk lies a newspaper announcing the rebirth of the tower and written in the dust on the screen of an outdated computer are the words: “Coming back to life.” It is noticed that the tower was haunted long ago until the day it came back to life. Watching closely, one may catch the shadow of a human figure, a phantom caretaker bidding goodbye to the building now that his work is done.

We are then driven outside, to discover the monument, elevated from the ground, held aloft by tree trunks. Our architect’s car arrives at the scene while the structure is completing its growth.

Finally, the story ends on a shot of the tower in its new skin, standing tall in the midst of all the disturbing chaos of the capital.

  • Jean Paul El Hachem
  • Jean Paul El Hachem
  • Jean Paul El Hachem
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    250 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jean Paul El Hachem

Jean-Paul El Hachem is an Architect and Visual artist based in Lebanon. After receiving his Masters in Architecture, Jean-Paul pursued his passion for Graphic Arts, studying Advanced Architecture Visualization and Postproduction at the State of Art Academy, Venice. in 2014, he founded JPAG Atelier, a Lebanese based group of creative minds, architects and artists operating within the fields of architecture and visual arts. His expertise in the Digital Art scene granted him a spot at the Lebanese American University - LAU, teaching ArchViz courses at the School of Architecture and Design, Byblos. His work has been featured and reviewed by International media and newspapers, like Archdaily, DesignBoom and The National.

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