Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem | Dir. Akram Zaatari | 105mins | Lebanon / France | 2015
Akram Zaatari’s latest film Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem explores the work of photographer Hashem el Madani, who has run a commercial photography studio in southern Lebanon for the last five decades. After spending years photographing people in front of their shops, in public squares or at the beach, el Madani opened the studio in response to his community’s desire to appear before the camera. Moving between el Madani’s studio in Saïda and the Arab Image Foundation – an image archive in Beirut now housing the majority of el Madani’s photographic collection – the film examines the changing sites, status and function of photographic practice and preservation though various analogue and digital media.