Hady Zaccak


Voted for

Modern Times1936Charles Chaplin
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola
UMBERTO D.1952Vittorio De Sica
Cinema Paradiso1988Giuseppe Tornatore
The Time That Remains2009Elia Suleiman
Being There1979Hal Ashby
La Nuit américaine1973François Truffaut


Modern Times

1936 USA

This film remains so powerful in depicting the industrial and capitalist world, mixing humour and all the Chaplin ingredients.


1958 USA

This is a personal Hitchckockian film about love-projection, about directing the other, giving life to a memory.

This is also a romantic film.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

This film remains the symbol of revolution in storytelling with its multiple points of view, its cinematographic language, the excellence of its use of black-and-white, of the art of transition and of sound.

This a biography that uses newsreel, stagecraft, comic books, film noir.

This is a lesson in cinema.

The Godfather

1972 USA

Watching the film this year in its restored version is astonishing.

Every detail is thought of. It is so modern, while depicting another era.

It is a film about family, honour.

It is a film that helps me, as a Lebanese, in understanding the Lebanese clan structure, which acts in the same way.

It is not just a film about the mafia but about the interaction between power, politics, business and crime.


1952 Italy

It is difficult to choose between Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D, but Umberto D is really a monument to Italian Neorealism at a time of change.

It is a film about getting old, about human dignity, about the relationship between a man and his dog.

It is a cinematographic lesson in how a well-documented realistic portrait can become universal, not just restricted to one period in time.

Umberto D could easily be walking in Beirut today.

Cinema Paradiso

1988 Italy, France

When it comes to a film that shows love for cinema, Cinema Paradiso is a poem about cinema.

childhood, dreams, becoming a director… The film becomes a biography of the spectator himself.

The mix of genres and the multitude of references – Ennio Morricone's music – cinema as a meeting-place in the village – the lost theatre… plenty of nostalgia, which is sometimes needed to continue dreaming.

The Time That Remains

2009 France, Belgium, Italy, Egypt, United Kingdom

When you look at Palestine through the eyes of Elia Suleiman, you get to the core of the land and the conflict.

You get the personal story, the characters, the observation, the impact of Israeli occupation, of becoming a stranger in your own homeland.

You also get the burlesque aspects – the humour, the satire, the importance of sound, and you realise how much cinema is a powerful tool for depicting reality. While the news tries to tell us what's happening within a precise agenda, with Suleiman we get inside the land and society through just a few words.

Being There

1979 USA

What if the world needed a simple Gardener.

What if this Gardener was Peter Sellers.

What if politics needed to go back to the lessons of nature.

What will the media make of this story.

This film depicts brilliantly our modern world!


1974 Italy

How do you deal with friendship, its evolution, the impact of history and how things change?

How do you film the life of friends, or film simply life itself?

How much is cinema part of life? (We even see Fellini shooting La dolce vita.)

How much does this film become a love affair with Italian cinema?

La Nuit américaine

1973 France, Italy

Another film about the love of cinema.

A film within a film, about fiction and fake documentary, a film about fake, or f for fake.

A summary, too, of Truffauts world, between literature, "cinephilia" and cinema.

Further remarks

I chose the films that had the same impact on me when I was in my twenties, thirties and forties.

When a film continues to have the same impact on me while I am growing, it is so fascinating.

These films invite you to make films. They convey a love of cinema but they also depict life from inside.

They know how to handle drama, comedy, sarcasm. They know how to use the appropriate cinematographic tools.

These are also films that I like to share with others and when I do this, they become like my own films.

I find in several of them not just fiction but documentary, politics and a constant critical eye on the world.