From Bowels of Lebanon

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- For a Cold War after-dinner television drama, Twelve Angry Men has travelled unusually far. Set in a hot, stuffy New York courthouse, the play focuses on a jury deliberating the fate of an 18-year-old accused of patricide. The script was made into the now-classic film starring Henry Fonda. The parable for America's McCarthy years, found its way to Bollywood in 1986: Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.

Now, from the bowels of Lebanon's largest prison, the has emerged its grittiest and most striking adaptation. Directed by Zeina Daccache and performed by Roumieh Prison inmates, the work has been renamed Twelve Angry Lebanese. The production is result of a year-long drama therapy initiative. "It's a microcosm of Lebanon. People don't want to see it," says Daccache, who first visited the prison 10 years ago as a stage manager with Clowns Without Borders. "But it's theatre is nourished by hunger."

The inmates scripted the scenes; one illiterate cast memberlearned to read and to write through the creative process.

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