Une rose ouverte / Warda

An Open Rose
“And in the darkness, I smile at life.” This sentence, written by Rosa Luxemburg in solitary confinement at the end of 1917, gets to the very heart of what characterises her letters from prison: a shining joie de vivre, regardless of the political situation. Her descriptions of birds, flowers, clouds and colours demonstrate an awareness of nature’s beauty experienced with all the senses. Numerous excerpts from the radical socialist’s lyrical letters in both German and Arabic form the threads running through this essayistic collage. They are joined by modern-day shots of wintry Berlin, a two-person reading in Beirut, archive material from the First World War, a battle song of the labour movement, traces of Nico, Gerhard Richter, Brecht, Breton, voices, sounds, music and the soundless comments of a self. Together, they form a polyphony of visually and acoustically overlapping layers. From this retrospective look at the 20th century, at Germany and the Middle East, at the militant struggles that took place both here and there, emerge personal conclusions as well as the acknowledgement that resistance and beauty can indeed co-exist, not least in dark times.
by Ghassan Salhab
with Tatiana El Dahdah, Miriam Younes
Lebanon 2019 German, Arabic, French 72’ Colour & Black/White Documentary form


  • Tatiana El Dahdah
  • Miriam Younes


Written and Directed by Ghassan Salhab
Cinematography Khaled Abdulwahed, Mark Khalife
Editing Carine Doumit, Ghassan Salhab
Music Nico, Kinematik, The Haxan Cloak
Sound Design Ghassan Salhab, Rana Eid
Sound Tatiana El Dahdah
Producer Ghassan Salhab

Produced by


Ghassan Salhab

Born in 1958 in Dakar, Senegal. In addition to making his own films, he collaborates on screenplays and also teaches film in Lebanon. In 2012, he published his first anthology, Fragments du livre du naufrage.


1986 La clef; 15 min. 1991 Après la mort; 21 min. · L’autre; 10 min. 1994 Afrique fantôme; 21 min. 1998 Beyrouth fantôme; 116 min. 1999 De la séduction; 32 min., co-directed with N. Khoder 2000 La rose de personne; 10 min. · Baalbeck; 56 min., co-directed with Akram Zaatari, Mohamed Soueid 2002 Terra incognita; 120 min. 2003 Mon corps vivant, mon corps mort; 14 min. 2004 Narcisse perdu; 15 min. 2005 Brêve rencontre avec Jean-Luc Godard, ou le cinéma comme métaphore; 40 min. 2006 Le dernier homme (The Last Man); 101 min. · Temps mort; 7 min. 2007 (Posthume); 28 min. 2009 1958; 66 min. 2011 La montagne (The Mountain); 80 min. 2015 Al-wadi (The Valley); 134 min., Forum 2015 2016 L’encre de Chine (Chinese Ink); 55 min. 2017 Aala kad al shawk – Le voyage immobile (As Far as Yearning); 23 min., co-directed with Mohamed Soueid, Forum Expanded 2018 2019 Une rose ouverte (Warda)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019