In the film “Joker,” Gotham City is rife with crime, social services are getting slashed and residents are left feeling powerless and disillusioned, while wealthy elites respond with condescension or obliviousness. One bad day after another slowly drives Arthur Fleck to madness and by the film’s end, he’s transformed into the Joker — and ultimately, an unintentional symbol of the downtrodden.

That power struggle between ordinary people and elites, Kabbani said, is what’s resonating with protesters in Lebanon.

“This is the Lebanese society situation at the moment, full of underdogs, full of oppressed people that are extremely frustrated and that is looking for a window of hope,” he said…

“Life now only teaches you to lie and cheat for a living because you simply have no other choice, and that’s not a life I want,” she said.