What is WINE and WAR about?
In 2013, Mark Johnston, Mark Ryan and Michael Karam, inspired by Michael's award-winning book Wines of Lebanon, set themselves a goal to change perceptions of the region and explore an enigmatic and misunderstood country by producing a feature length documentary that celebrated Lebanese entrepreneurship in times of conflict and instability through the lens of wine. With testimonies from those who fought to make wine in the 1975-90 civil war, the 2006 summer war, and those who continue to produce in the shadow of regional instability, this unique documentary frames their astonishing stories of bravery, determination, and survival and highlights how wine can be a unifier and a metaphor for life, hospitality, civilization, and a force for good in a region defined by turmoil and animosity, but which has a relationship with the vine that stretches back, almost 7,000 years. The Lebanese were the first wine merchants and they continue to travel the world. There are 4.5 million people in Lebanon, but a further 10 million of Lebanese descent are scattered across the five continents and they too can help forge a renewed sense of identity and pride among the diaspora. Because in a time of global angst, Lebanon is suffering more than most, not only dealing with the Covid pandemic, but also fighting corruption, environmental crises and sectarian politics not to mention navigating choppy economic waters. WINE and WAR is a timely reminder that uncertainty is a way of life for many, but that out of uncertainty can come remarkable resilience, and positivity.