Room for a Man
The first thing Anthony Chidiac says about himself is that life scares him, and he is paralyzed by fear. He lives with his mother, a French teacher, in Beirut, and rarely leaves the house. His home is a refuge, but in some respects also a prison. To Chidiac, the outside world feels like a hostile environment, for one thing because he’s gay. This is something his own family also refuses to accept, as we learn from conversations with his mother and uncle. His mom wanted him to be a notary, so he would earn a lot of money and become “a real man.” But that's not how he sees himself.
In carefully composed shots of his immediate surroundings, reflections on moments in his life, conversations with the Syrian builders who are renovating his house, and a trip with his father to Argentina, Chidiac constructs an intriguing self-portrait. Insecure as he might be about his own identity, his documentary debut is remarkably self-assured.