Multiple award-winning director and producer, Philippe
Aractingi tells the story of exile in the powerful, biographical drama,
Heritages, as seen on Netflix. Aractingi plays with experimental film
techniques by combining directed scenes and archival images with video
filmed diaries, family photos, and super 8 reels to create an experience
that places you in the world of war torn Lebanon of the past and
present. Starring himself, his wife, Diane Aractingi and their three
children, they tell the true story of not only their lives, but the
lives of much of the Middle East.
After having been forced to leave his homeland for the third time,
Aractingi reflects on the repeated history of his ancestors having fled
war for generations and how the weight of such tragedies have left them
scarred, and lacking in identity. One of the consequences of exile is
the loss of your mother tongue. We get to see this first hand when his
youngest child forgot her native language after the family settled in
France. This is how culture gets forgotten and identity becomes lost.
When describing why he decided to document his life and the Lebanese
experience on film, he very poignantly said, “If I don’t film it now,
there will be no trace of it left. They’ll have erased it all”. It is
for reasons as such, that we must protect Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This is how those affected by globalization begin to heal and survive.
Aractingi ends the film with a quote in regards to carrying generational
weight, “Knowing your history means going through your bags and only
taking what belongs to you. Then you can travel light, without wasting
any more energy”. Through the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural
Heritage, the WMA’s aims to alleviate some of this weight, and recognize
the value in the lives of those impacted.