One Man Village (Semaan Bil Day'ia)

One Man Village (Semaan Bil Day'ia) Movie Poster

Ain el-Halazoun is a village in Lebanon not far from Beirut, which was once home to a small but thriving community of farmers. But that was before civil war tore Lebanon apart between 1975 and 1990; Ain el-Halazoun was caught in the midst of the fighting, and eventually all the village's inhabitants moved away.

Today, Ain el-Halazoun has just one permanent resident, Semaan El Habre, who has come to the village that was once his family's home to start the dairy farm he's always wanted.

However, while some move to the country to get away from the noise and crowds of the city, El Habre has put himself into virtual solitary confinement; while a handful of former residents stop by on occasion to look at their family property, El Habre remains the only man in town nearly all year round.

Filmmaker Simon El Habre (Semaan's nephew) recounts Ain el-Halazoun sad history and the day-to-day life of the only person who still calls it home in the documentary Semaan Bil Day'ia (aka The One Man Village), which received its North American premiere at Toronto's 2009 Hot Docs International Film Festival; the festival jury gave named the film Best International Feature Documentary.

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