Turn On

Trapped inside her decrepit home and city, Mona is demoralized by the sight of her worn-down parents. She ventures through trash filled alleys to attend a mysterious party. But she cannot escape thoughts of her family, and her desire to share a moment of joy with them.

Directors Statement

Home is not where you are born;
home is where all your attempts to escape cease

― Naguib Mahfouz

It has become a rite of passage for the post-war generation of Lebanon to consider leaving the country in search of a better life. Many did leave, I am one of them. I know very well that feeling of collective despair, that stubborn belief that the reality will never change. Intriguingly, this same despair has bred a sense of solidarity, a collective desire to escape. TURN ON is a reflection on my last two years-leaving Lebanon and the joys and fears that come with that journey. They say you cannot hate Beirut, unless you love it first. I’ve fallen in and out of love with that city – as a resident and expat – more times than I should. This film is dedicated to my family and friends who chose to stay. It is a visual essay on my longing to reconnect with my community but also a gratefulness to be far away from it.

— Celine Layous