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Stuff We Love
Lynn Fakhry 26 Jan 2022

Sirens: New Documentary About Lebanon’s First All-Female Metal Band

From a small soundproof room in the outskirts of Beirut, the Middle East’s first and only all-female thrash metal band was born in the summer of 2015, shredding out devil-worshipping stigmas, gender biases, and misplaced judgment.

Five Lebanese women in their 20s are the proud headbangers of Slaves To Sirens with Maya Khairallah on vocals, Lilas Mayassi on rhythm guitar, Shery Bechara on Lead Guitar, Tatyana Boughaba on drums, and Alma Doumani on bass. Always standing out through pure fast-paced thrash metal beats coupled with piercings, tattoos, all-black clothes, and a charismatic onstage presence, the band earned the embrace of the country’s male-dominated metal community, as well as the attention of US-based Moroccan film director Rita Amal Baghdadi .

Baghdadi’s “Sirens” documentary unravels the bumpy yet fierce rise of Slave To Sirens, centering on founders and guitarists Lilas and Shery who first met at a protest spurred by the Lebanese government’s mismanagement of the 2015 waste crisis. The camera follows them as they wrestle with the complexities of friendship, sexual awakenings, and nourishing their artistic process, amid political unrest.

The director served as her own cinematographer, capturing the beauty of Beirut through cityscapes, bustling streets, dimly lit bars, performance venues, and random beach conversations at sunset.
Despite it being filmed in 2020 in the aftermath of the Beirut Port devastating blast, the film underlines a feeling of hope ascending from the bandmates’ pursue of a wild dream, rather than surrendering to a gloom atmosphere.

The documentary premiered on January 23 at this year’ all-virtual Sundance Film Festival, and is getting significant visibility with its immersive narrative and big-name executive producers including Natasha Lyonne and former Netflix content vice-president Cindy Holland.

A new crowd-pleaser, “Sirens” weaves raw moments into a 78-minute compelling story that leaves you with a desire to further explore the unconventional lifestyle of five aspiring Lebanese females who keep on thrashing out preconceptions and rocking unapologetically!

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