Alephia 2053 Alephia 2053

Alan Moore meets the Arab Spring in Alephia 2053, a Lebanese animated feature making waves online. Since debuting on Youtube on March 21, the film has notched up more than eight million views.

Alephia 2053 is set in a desaturated future Arab world ruled by a despotic dictator. The dystopian thriller follows three undercover agents as they go about toppling the tyrant, with the support of the people. Watch it below (English subtitles are available):

The film’s creator Rabih Sweidan says the project was inspired by Watchmen, the comic book series by Moore and Dave Gibbons, in which superheroes change the course of recent U.S. history. The Lebanese filmmaker told the French paper Courrier International that Alephia 2053 does not have a “political aim” but is rather an “emotional and social study.” Yet the film draws on the iconography of past protests and revolutions in the Arab world — not least the Arab Spring, which took place a decade ago.

The film was directed Jorj Abou Mhaya and produced by Lebanon’s Spring Entertainment company. According to Sweidan, more than 70% of the film was made in Lebanon by Lebanese artists. France’s Malil’art Productions was also involved in the production.

It is still rare for Lebanese animated productions to draw global attention. In 2015, Waves ’98, directed by Lebanese filmmaker Ely Dagher, was awarded the Short Film Palme d’Or at Cannes; the film was made between Beirut and Europe.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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