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Gate #5 - Rolling Stones Middle East review (10/01/2012)

A fascinating look at the lives of those working at one of Beirut's busy ports, Gate #5 is, on occasion, disconso­lately bleak. Lingering shots of weathered truckers pass­ing the time in comfortable si­lence, or elderly drivers fondly recounting stories of run-ins with the authorities, all drip with bittersweet nostalgia.

For El Habre, the tales of Gate #5 and how it has changed echo the changes in Lebanon it­self, and the plethora of tall tales acts as a window through which the city's tumultuous history can be viewed. The rev­erence with which he treats the stars - one of whom is his fa­ther, which makes the shot of the elderly man undergoing dialysis all the more heart-wrenching - is sacrosanct.

And through the long-wind­ed, tangential anecdotes, El Habre paints a vivid, if de­pressing, picture of a group of men who have (often literally) sat and watched their coun­try change.

Matt Ross // Rolling Stones Middle East