“COLORS OF AN OLD BELLOW,” a charming little film by award winning director Youssef Chahine, is a delightfully entertaining romantic comedy. With a number of familiar faces from old movies like “Laguna Beach,” this film is a fun time for film fans. Although it is not very plot-driven, there are several enjoyable characters and events, including some of the classic UFAs of yore. The colorful animation does its job, especially during the credits, but what really makes Colors of an Old Beirut a hit is the touching story of a retired teacher (Chahine) who lives alone in an old apartment.
Ufa. ” COLORS OF AN OLD BELLOW” blends snippets of old Beirut, with newly restored footage of the old souk, to create a wistful-worthy portrait of the old metropolis. When a woman (Leigh Taylor-King) moves into an old house in search of love, she hires two workers to do some work for her… but they soon find themselves trapped inside with the owner – a very wealthy and mysterious gentleman (Abbas). The two workers escape to tell their boss, but he’s waiting for them outside. They finally manage to escape and return, only to face off against an army of the evil mullahs. This army, led by their chief, Abu Nasr (Ahmed Al Khalil), has just ordered the dismissal of all non-zbollah residents from the apartment complex.
Two years later, Leila (Kaya Scodelario), now working as a translator for an international firm, witnesses the brutal execution of three Hezbollah supporters. One is beheaded, the other burned alive. Leila decides to help the third, a freelance writer living in the slums of Beirut. He is also penniless and afraid of going further into the world because of his profession, but he needs to find money to support his family. He decides to go to the old quarter of Sayqeira, where Hezbollah had once lived, in order to look for work. But he never intends to return to Hezbollah-occupied UFA, because he believes that everyone in the area knows that all of them are dead.
One year later, in September 2006, Leila gets a call from her friend Maya (Sandra Oh), who lives in Sayqeira. She tells Leila that she has seen people on the streets of Sayqeira wearing clothing that looks identical to the clothes worn by Hezbollah forces two years before, the clothing has been cut and wrapped in sheets. She also explains to Leila that she had seen three trucks used for the transportation of weapons and ammunition heading for UFA from Hezbollah bases in Syria to the border with Israel.
Maya tells Leila that the trucks had been carrying fertilizers and equipment from UFA to areas of fighting in Southern Lebanon. According to Maya, Hezbollah forces occupied the area and abducted the civilians. The women were forced to strip naked and to work on the Tel al-DIya border. The Hezbollah terrorists also planted mines all over the town and targeted civilians in the area. One woman was raped in her home by one of the Hezbollah terrorists.
Leila then heads to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to deliver a report about her findings to Zeid Raad al-Husseini, the UN chief of human rights. At first, she is hesitant to hand her information over to the UN because she is sure that she will be arrested for providing information to a foreign agency without protection. But she decides to meet with the head of the UN agency in Geneva, Bernard Kouchner. Kouchner recognizes that Leila is a female American and therefore not a legitimate target for arrest. Kouchner tells her that Hezbollah has signed the Convention on Consistent Application of International Humanitarian Law and requests that the Security Council takes action against Hezbollah.