Lebanese Reviews Media Partners Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

Documentary Review: We Must Clown (2018) by Dima Al-Joundi

We Must Clown still

is an entertainer from Lebanon and rather than performing on stage, she feels it is better to perform for refugees and the marginalized. We go through her diary entries over many months of having visited several refugee camps as well as interviews with Sabine as to why she has chosen this profession and we also get glimpses of some performances at Slovenia, Croatia, Lebanon and many others. As per Sabine, clowning is for adults and yet it is the children who enjoy it most. The plight of refugees and migrants who come looking for a better life takes its toll on the clown's personal life as it involves cycles of normalcy and crying. The documentary also introduces the workshop conducted for adults which teaches people how to clown. These groups perform at refugee camps and settlements.

We Must Clown” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival for Asian Cinema

The music by Stefano Fasce does not play to the clown but the circumstances of the real people who witness the performance, thereby depicting the effort that goes into an act. Sound of waves gives a settling calm to many narratives.

The script has been able to capture the character of Sabine holistically. The avid performer, compassionate mentor, altruistic sentimentalist, and humanitarian are all facets of the same person which help us get closer and empathize with the human being behind it all.

It may have been the face of the clown, but I felt that Sabine had resemblance to Giulietta Masina who played the clown Gelsomina in La Strada.

Clowning amplifies someone's basic nature and exposes him or her in public. But for a community fenced in and deprived, only amplified emotions are able to penetrate the boundaries made by man. Sabine has been fortunate enough to achieve that in her profession.

About the author

Arun Krishnan

My affection for the television screen started in childhood. I was blamed for being oblivious to my surroundings once the screen came to life. A badge i carry with me even today and has only naturally extended to the big screen. Moving picture is an amalgamation of all art forms that came before it. And to read, think, talk and write about it a pleasure all in itself. In short, this is my kind of fun.

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