Letters to Francine

Lettres a Francine

Dopisy Francine

  • Fouad Elkoury
  • France
  • 2002, 43 min
Photography: Fouad Elkoury
Editing: Tina Baz, Emmanuel Barrault, Pascal Cuissot
Sound: Eric Rey
Music: Anouar Brahem, Eleni Karaindrou, Stephan Mircus
Color: Colour

A personal film of photographer Fouad Elkoury is based on his black and white documentary photographs that tell the story of his two-year stay in Turkey. The video footage is a fusion of words and images, it comments on individual photographs, it documents a conversation with friends in a hospital room; the presence of the photographer is indicated by cigarette smoke that dissolves the pictures in a stain of memory, and by his fingers that hold on to the individual photographs.

The camera is used consistently in the style of an ego-documentary, the camera sees only what my eyes can see: my face is never shown, only my toes. The photographs lead across the borderland of religion and culture. The author's confession seems to be written on the other side of the photographs. If the pictures were sent as cards, they would be messages to a beloved woman.

However, at the time of his stay in Paris, the photographer's notes on pictures for an upcoming book titled 'Turkey' mix with his thoughts about the disease, which was diagnosed after his return. On his way between the studio (developing the photographs) and the hospital (video, camera held close to the body), words and images transform into a suggestive journal of the disease, two homes, return and death.

Fouad Elkoury (*1952) was born in Paris to a Lebanese couple. Upon completion of his studies of architecture, he pursued photography. Initially, his work was dominated by documenting of an ordinary life in Lebanon. His pictures made it to the front pages when he photographed the Israeli attack on Beirut in 1982. The report from a city destroyed by war was followed by intensive portraits of Marseille, Rome, Djibouti, Cairo and Istanbul. His album Beirut City Centre is considered a milestone in the development of documentary photography. It was followed by a series of winter pictures from the Roissy airport and by a report about the divided Cypriot town of Nicosia. Elkoury spent several months taking pictures of the occupied Palestinian territories. From 1998 to 2000 he worked in Turkey. Upon return, he completed a long-term project 'Rome', was diagnosed with cancer, and shot his only film.

Photo Gallery

Et Alors Productions / France / etalorsproduction@etalors.com
Festival edition: 2003
Sections: Without Title
Exhibition format: Beta SP


The leitmotif of this year’s edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF will be memory