Friday 18 October 2013

"The Lebanese Rocket Society" (The Guardian 18/10/13)

The Lebanese Rocket Society (uncertificated) 93 mins **

Lebanon’s modest contribution to the Sixties space race – the society formed at Beirut’s Haigazian University by Professor Manoug Manougian – is here reclaimed as a source of optimism: it encouraged students from across the Middle East to fire rockets skywards, rather than at each other. Yet this dour-seeming documentary only succeeds in framing the Society’s efforts as so much elaborate tinkering – a science-fair project that briefly caught eyes before being consigned to history’s attic. The flat-footed investigative approach, shuffling between archives, hardly helps; only with a belated attempt to reconstruct the rockets does the film poke its head beyond the shed door.

The Lebanese Rocket Society opens in selected cinemas from today.

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