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Thousands of protests have been occurring across Beirut, Lebanon, and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker has become an unexpected symbol of the resistance.
Protests were started by the government’s controversial tax on voice calls within the app WhatsApp. Whilst the tax was reversed swiftly, protests still continued.
Much of the anger fuelling the protests comes from the tax’s representation of the greater economic inequality and corruption within the country.
Therefore, on top of giving anonymity, the Joker face paint is symbolic of the mood amongst protestors. Many can relate to Arthur Fleck being driven to madness from his anger and distress. One protestor sights relating to the character’s feeling that ‘nobody cared about him, nobody would listen to him.’
Despite the anger in the country, some see some positives arising from the demonstrations. Christian Manachi, a protestor, said: ‘For the first time ever there is real unity in the country and not a fake one like we’ve seen before.
‘People are realising that a Christian living in extreme poverty is no different from a Sunni or Shia living in extreme poverty.’