Visually stunning cinematography heightens the emotional stronghold of 1982. The film is unusually relevant as the war in Ukraine threatens the everyday lives of children and adults in the region. As news of the Lebanon war is a constant din in the film, elementary school children navigate love, exam anxiety, friendship, and all that encompasses those complex feelings.
Mohamad Dalli plays Wissam with genuine star quality. His performance feels effortless as he attempts to confess his love for classmate Joanna. Miscommunications lead to natural hurt feelings and aggression toward his best friend and scene partner Ghassan Maalouf. The two boys have brilliant chemistry. Add on the object of Wissam’s affection in actress Gia Madi. Their energy is movie magic.
1982 keeps you on the edge of your seat, heart in your throat from beginning to end. The harrowing juxtaposition of war deliberately creeps up on you. All eyes are on the skies as teachers and students notice the increased activity of planes and then smoke. The intense sense of dread is consuming. All while these kids are just trying to be kids. The film speaks to the resiliency of children. There are many parallels for American audiences, as school shootings fill parents and students with dread. The script has a universality that will touch every single viewer. It might seem like an unusual suggestion, but I believe this is a film that can be and should be, watched with the entire family. With a final touch of much-needed, childlike whimsey, 1982 is a glorious cinematic triumph.
The award-winning Lebanese film “1982” which is opening exclusively in select theaters beginning June 10th in New York (at the Quad Cinema), followed by Los Angeles (at Laemmle Royal & other locations) on June 24th. The film will then expand into additional theaters nationwide throughout the summer.
About the filmmaker: Oualid Mouaness is an award winning Lebanese-American writer, director and producer. Liberian born to Lebanese parents, Mouaness grew up between Beirut and Monrovia. His work traverses narrative and documentary feature films, music films, music videos and commercials. Mouaness has produced nine feature length films (docs & narratives): notably, the indie film “Kitchen Privileges” (SXSW 2000) that he co-produced and edited, the acclaimed documentary ‘RIZE’ (Sundance 2005) which was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2006, as well as the South African LAIFF Audience-award-winning documentary “I Am Thalente” (2015), and most recently the experiential documentary “Max Richter’s Sleep” (2020) that had its world premiere at IDFA 2019 and its North American premiere at Sundance 2020. His short film “The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf and the Boy” was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2017. His straddling of life in diaspora with a window into life in Lebanon brings a heightened understanding and nuance to his work. He’s a Sundance Institute Fellow and has called Los Angeles home for over two decades. He completed his undergraduate studies in Journalism and Theatre in Beirut and holds an MFA in Film from the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. “1982” is Oualid’s directorial feature film debut.