If you take a look into the recent history of Beirut, you will find a dynamic culture, a civil war, and a hidden world of espionage. One of the oldest cities in the world, Beirut was once called “The Paris of the Middle East” for ubiquitous French influences across its architecture, cuisine, and lifestyle. This cultural vibrancy was disrupted during the Lebanese Civil War, dividing its people for over 15 years. Under the cover of war in the early 1980s, Beirut became a crossroads for spy activity, sprinkled with secret threats and experienced agents.
From high society figures to international tourists to foreign diplomats, no one could be trusted at this time, as seen in Brad Anderson’s newest film, Beirut, written by Tony Gilroy, the writer of the Bourne trilogy. Capturing the essence of espionage in the titular city, the film portrays the crossfire of civil war as CIA operatives send a former U.S. diplomat (Jon Hamm) to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.