Friday, December 11, 2015

Bourdain's "Back to Beirut": Anthony dines with woman who raises existential point about freedom v. security


I finally saw Anthony Bourdain’s “Back to Beirut” as part of his “Parts Unknown” series.  CNN has a basic link here.  I didn’t realize that imdb has these episodes indexed now, here.  The Travel Chanel also carries some of his episodes under “No Reservations”.


Bourdain did cover the most recent history of violence (around 2006, although there was an attack on Nov. 12, just before the Paris attacks). But socially, according to Bourdain, the city (also spelled "Beyrouth") is quite tolerant and open, especially for the Middle East.

Bourdain talked to a young woman from Damascus, who described horrors of the social climate in Syria even in areas that don’t have as much violence.  The young woman made an existential remark about whether more freedom should be allowed it if can cost more human lives.
 
There were scenes of modern skyscrapers rising out of uncleared rubble.
 
The episode could be compared to the short film “Beirut Is a House of Many Rooms” discussed on my movies blog Nov. 9, which I saw in a special concert showing in NYC.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Roman Baths in Beirut by Radi83, under Creative Commons Share Alike 2.5 license.

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