Based on a true story, Rasha’s Dream is, first of all, the initiatory journey of Leila, a documentary filmmaker who was raised in a French children’s home. Only when she turns 18 she is able to read her own dossier, where she will find that cold, anonymous definition of herself: “female, born in Beirut in 1982”.

The movie, with the rhythm and values of Greek tragedy, tells her passionate search for her origins in Lebanon. Its society is still victim of an unresolved past, and it seems impossible to recover the lost age of a multiethnic society. The present Lebanese reality is nothing but the mirror of humanity as a whole: increasingly dehumanized and dominated by the fear of diversity.

Leila will discover her origin and dramatic past through the buried memories of a 15-year civil war and the meeting with her own father. But she will also find the path leading to a dream that can come true: love power, allowing us to live together despite the differences and sufferings we belong to.

We have to go through darkness to see the stars.

 Written by the writer Cecilia Mazzei



The feature film Rasha’s Dream is the result of an international project born from the meeting between the Italian director and screenwriter Alessandro Guidotti and the Lebanese screenwriter Lina Joukhadar.

It is a dialogue between Eastern and Western. A long work of recollection of testimonies and facts has generated a script full of poetical elements that counterpoint a harsh reality. It is a fictional movie based on a true story, reminding us of the rhythm of Greek tragedy, but at the same time anchored to reality thanks to its documentary elements. Its recurring theme is compelling for us European: the integration of cultural, religious and political aspects as a necessary step towards human evolution.

“Rasha’s Dream conveys a sense of freedom, made of sympathy, communication and respect for any difference that make us belong to a specific society.

I have always believed it was a quality project with a strong communicative urgency. This belief made me invest my time and my collaborators’ in the production of a film that I hope will get its proper acknowledgment in Italy and abroad”.

 Jader Giraldi, Executive producer

“I first met Lina Joukhadar when I was in Beirut to film a documentary on the Lebanese cultural milieu of anti-war people. Soon after arriving in Beirut, the outburst of new conflicts made people fear another civil war was about to come. Since that day, I spent a month filming the events I found myself involved in. In the company of Lina, who became my assistant, I crossed the districts of Beirut, where 18 different ethnic and religious communities live. We got in touch with the Hezbollah Media Office, and thus we got the permission to film the devastating effects of Israeli bombings.

We met Robert Fisk, a world famous journalist who lives in Beirut since 1976, and Christian Ghazi, a 74 year-old former fighter, known in Lebanon for his fights for Palestinian refugees’ rights. I could never get into the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila with a camera if Ghazi hadn’t been a movie and documentary enthusiast. After 13 days of fights there was a truce, but as revealed by civilians testimonies, people felt like a new conflict was lurking. Only then I understood the words of the writer Wallid Sadek, who claims he has lived under an everlasting civil war for 40 years: “Forgetting the past will not make us free. Building and developing our memory will give us the possibility to change”.

The only way to be born again is processing the trauma of a 15-year civil war. It is a true social and cultural commitment, because the wound to heal is not individual, but concerns a whole society. There are 18 communities in Lebanon that have to share this hard course. Only a collective consciousness can make the Beirut of the 50’s that everybody remembers like a dream emerge from the rubble. The painter Amin Awad thus remembers that “real” dream:

“The present is dominating the scene. But memories hide in the rubble of my buried city. At that time, communities, ethnicities and beliefs were only different colours of the same body. The Other was not an object of fear and hate, but rather a source of richness and growth”.

Among the testimonies collected, we came to know the story of Leila and Amin Awad. Lina Joukhadar and I caught its potential from the very beginning.

A delicate and harsh life story, where the today’s Beirut is mirrored in the city before the civil war, a symbol of integration of ethnic and religious differences.

Lina and I wrote the screenplay for Rasha’s dream in two long years of work and meetings.

Leila, the protagonist of Rasha’s Dream, makes an initiatory journey, which is personal and universal at the same time. It weaves a thread between memories, tragedies and hopes connecting many Lebanese of all the communities.

Alessandro Guidotti, Director