A psychedelic reflection on family, homesickness and techno by directors Celine Layous and Quinn Else. Building on a quote by Naguib Mahfouz — “Home is not where you are born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease” — “Turn On” tells the story of a young woman trapped inside a decrepit home and demoralized by the sight of her worn-down parents. However, after venturing through trash-filled alleys to attend a mysterious party, she finds herself unable to escape thoughts of her family or the desire to share a moment of joy with them. In this way, despite the timeless and abstract tone of the film, the project acts as a personal meditation about leaving Lebanon. As the directors explain further:
“While Turn On is atemporal and does not belong to any particular space or time – its essence, the grim environment, the trash, the power outages, even the smoking habits, are all inspirations from Beirut. These simple elements reflect an ongoing and repetitive loop of real world issues that most locals have lost hope in resolving.
Our weary parents lost belief in a new Lebanon after a hopeless civil war and they passed down that despair to their children. This reality is so demoralizing that the younger generation excels at escapism. They are able to enjoy simple and brief moments. It is the only way to exist in the chaos. The impact of subcultures, like the reputable electronic music scene of Beirut gives a dignity to that escapism for some, by dancing in the face of adversity.”
Watch above and see full credits below!
Written and Directed by Celine Layous
Co-Directed by Quinn Else
Featuring the music of Marc Houle
Produced by Erin Gilchrist & Froso Tsipopoulou
Cinematography: Celine Layous
Production Design: Fernando Marroquin
Edit: Charles Carter
Sound Design: Thierry Diab