Formally intricate and politically subversive, the films of the Lebanese director Corine Shawi are composed of elliptically edited sequences, impassioned musical interludes, and sensual depictions of the female body. Her exploration of identity and female desire is interwoven with sights, sounds, and evocations of Lebanon’s present and past. Our exchange, which took place in the spring of 2019, focused primarily on Shawi’s documentary e muet (2013). Prior to e muet Shawi had made the long documentary Les femmes bonnes (2006), which follows the daily life of Doulika and other Sri Lankan domestic workers. She went on to make five further short documentaries: Daniela (2006), Oxygène (2007), Affinity (2007), Film of Welcome and Farewells (2007), and Je t’aime infiniment (directed with Nikolaj B. S. Larsen, 2010).1Affinity explores paintings by the Polish Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka,...

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