It is raining awards and prizes for Lebanese-born Australian journalist and filmmaker Daizy Gedeon (57). In her 2021 name-and-shame documentary Enough: Lebanon’s Darkest Hour, the corrupt ruling class in Lebanon gets it. And there is more to come.
By Arthur Blok
It has been quite some years for Gedeon after the 2021 release of ENOUGH. A film that received 44 awards times at 33 different international film festivals. These awards include 20 wins, notably at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, where the film won the Movie That Matters Award presented by the Better World Fund.
What was the best recognition? Gedeon: “The award at Cannes in 2021, without any doubt. It set the standard for how my film would be perceived internationally, and having credit from the biggest film festival in the world is unbelievable.”
Changing things for the better in Lebanon looks like an impossible mission analyzing the country’s modern history. Lebanon was a dream that never came true. A nation destroyed by a greedy and corrupt political establishment who do not seem to understand that their time to leave lies far behind them.
Gedeon: “I never expected this type of global recognition. All I wanted to do was tell the real story. I feel so honored and touched by the reaction and response of the world to our story. It shows how many people feel and care about Lebanon and our people.”
In that perspective, Gedeon’s movie hits the spot. Despite all the naming and shaming and a Lebanese opposition that won many seats in Lebanon’s last elections, the country remains in complete chaos and mess.
Gedeon: “The change will take time. Nothing significant will happen anytime soon because, unfortunately, there is no political will to want to change anything. I am talking at the very top. They will only change things if it is for their benefit.”
Since the elections, Gedeon has been actively attending parliamentary sessions and watching the debates. “They put on a good show for the audience, but in reality, especially sitting in on the Budget discussion and vote was disappointing to watch.”
Optimistic as Gedeon is, she does expect to see some significant change in the country of the Cedar. “The election results were truly historic. Thirteen independent MPs were elected, up from only one in the previous election. Even more significantly, if you break down the actual votes, more votes were cast for candidates representing change than for any other party.”
Significant numbers indicate that the Lebanese, including those in the diaspora (who were responsible for electing seven of the thirteen MPs), are well and truly ready to take action and vote for change.
Gedeon: “The Change MPs now need to unite into one or two change parties before the next elections in 2026. This will give them a more robust bloc to campaign with and a greater sense of faith in the Lebanese people that these people are legitimate, credible, and genuinely committed to changing Lebanon.”
The Lebanese Australian journalist and filmmaker was also nominated as one of the 100 most successful women in business in 2022 by the Global Trade Chamber.
Gedeon: “I was surprised and overwhelmed, in all honesty. I did not nominate for it; instead, they chose me. Especially considering my work over the past few years has been focused on a mission. I am also very proud of the recognition of my media company in Australia, GDR Media Group, which continues to thrive without me there.”
To help turn the tide in Lebanon, Gedeon decided to move back to Lebanon permanently and build a local team to go forward with various projects. Just to create more noise.
Gedeon: “We are working on a couple of podcast-style programs that will share important stories about the change happening in and for Lebanon and the people leading that change. These programs will have an international focus.”
In addition, the conversations with people who have seen ENOUGH inspired Gedeon to transform it into a broader movement now centered on a foundation called the Free and Fair Lebanon Foundation.
Gedeon: “The foundation aims to give the Lebanese people their dignity back. Their grace has been stolen from them by a government that intends to keep them low so that they have no choice but to stay desperate. Through the foundation, we will launch programs that empower Lebanese people and provide them with opportunities they are currently being denied.”