Up to the South focuses specifically on southern Lebanon, its current conditions, inhabitants, histories, politics and economics, as well as the Israeli occupation and the socio-ideological and popular resistance to this occupation. After filming more than 150 hours in Lebanon, from January to December 1992, the authors collected more than 30 hours of video images and archival film footage. With the help of several producers, researchers, historians and journalists from the region, they focus on the ways certain terms are currently used within Western discourse to describe the situation of another culture: terrorist, terrorism, occupation, colonisation, post-colonialism, resistance, collaboration, truth and fiction.
Director's comments :
The pathology of misinformation and misrepresentation when dealing with other cultures can be epitomized by the media's coverage of Lebanon in the West. Lebanon is described in fluctuating tones of nostalgia and regret, fear and loathing, e.g. "Lebanon's Final Assault on the West", "Death of a Nation". It is a country written off, its death proclaimed and sanctioned, Arabs are depicted as evil savages and money grabbing, xenophobic, Western hating fanatics with no morals, intent on self-destruction and deserving of such a state, living in an endless cycle of violence, corruption and blood, "establishing carnage as a Lebanese birthright". The Lebanese voice surfaces in the Western mind only in its most perverted forms of extremism. Produced by and for the West to fulfill its ambitions these voices are creations of Western self-interest and miscomprehension. In this well equipped bank of delusions the stereotype enters the image currency and fills the mainstream void allotted it.