If you were to think of a hit movie, an old play filmed on an 8mm camera from more than 30 years ago would probably not come to mind. However, Ziad Rahbani's play "Bel Nesbeh La Bokra Shou?" is here to prove you wrong.
The film, which opened in Lebanon on Jan. 21, has sold over 28,000 admissions on its first day alone, according to Deadline . In pre-sales alone, it sold 21,000 tickets. According to Hyam Saliby, the head of sales and acquisitions at distributor Italia Film, “It ["Bel Nesbeh La Bokra Shou?"] will almost certainly become the highest grossing Lebanese film of all time.”
It may be that this movie is a nice trip down memory lane for the older Lebanese generations who attended the actual play in its 8 month run when it first opened, or that it brought together the younger fans of the phenomenal musician and playwright, but there is no denying that "Bel Nesbeh La Bokra Shou?" is a hit.
The most wonderful thing about the film, perhaps, is the fact that it was never intended for public viewing. The footage being screened was shot by Layal, Rahbani's sister, while the play was still being rehearsed. This was done for the actors to see their performances and judge them, and it still feels quite intimate when screened to audiences of hundreds today.
People who did see the film seemed to agree on one thing; it was an absolute joy. While it is agreed that the footage wasn't the best when it came to quality, the content was all that mattered to anyone, with many agreeing that it is a "must-see".