3 Logical Exits


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

3 Logical Exits
"Both neat and strong."

3 Logical Exits is not a difficult film but what it does is difficult. Simply constructed in the way that hand-cut dovetail joints are simple, Mahdi Fleifel's film brings together difficult circumstances under tension and from them produces something both neat and strong.

Less grainy than fuzzy, this is the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon, beyond dust and smoke and digital artifacts the patina of politics. The titular avenues are geographic in the way that borders and nationalities and salients are geographic, human constructions. Fleifel has, I do not know if it is right to say muse for documentarians, but in Reda Al-Saleh (A Man Returned) a subject whose story, stories, are told.

Copy picture

Winning the Bill Douglas award for International Film at the 2020 Glasgow Short Film Festival, Fleifel talked about the good, transformative good, that the prize money would achieve. This is not in and of itself a happy ending but the chance of one, the possibility of another exit.

There are a lot of terms in quotations because it is terminology, a vocabulary of intent as much a part of the architecture of authority as any Alaska Barrier or two-way mirror. 'Security matter' and 'state of exception' and "beyond logic" abound. There are multiple formats, voices, there is the presence of italics (Matchbox Cineclub subtitling continues to be high quality) but this is stark, black and white in a place where there is a profusion of grey. There are posters on walls and reflections of Mickey Mouse and an echo of a wedding. There is sound from Dario Swade, previous collaborator, excellent as ever. Swade's CV as sound designer includes a number of shorts of which I am very, very fond, here adding to a film that is documentary by impression, meditation, almost imposition.

Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2021
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3 Logical Exits packshot
A sociological meditation on the different 'exits' that young Palestinians choose, in order to cope with life in the refugee camps.

Director: Mahdi Fleifel

Year: 2020

Runtime: 1 minutes

Country: Denmark, UK, Lebanon


GSFF 2020
GSFF 2021

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