This essay attends to Insomnia of a Serial Dreamer (2020), the latest feature film by Lebanese filmmaker Mohamed Soueid. Drawn from footage gathered over eighteen years, this deeply personal experimental documentary engages the wounds of war, yearnings of love and obsessions of cinophilia. Soueid organizes his work through a somnambular conceit: that by telling him bedtime stories, his friends might help him fall asleep. This pretext serves as a container for a form of compulsive storytelling whose intimate emotional textures are threaded with melancholy and nostalgia. Insomnia of a Serial Dreamer explores the possibility of a curative cinema—one whose attitude to the past is not to stabilize or hermetically seal it away—but to materialize the imprecisions and uncertainties of collective memory through the cinematic medium as a form of social relation.

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