I propose that careful reading of films and film coverage provides a new research avenue for scholars interested in the social and cultural history of the 1950s and the 1960s in Lebanon. Looking specifically at the manner in which George Nasser's 1957 film Ila Ayn? (Where To?) embraces and modifies the generic conventions of neorealist melodrama to articulate anxieties over the effects of emigration on Lebanon, this article explores the manner in which contemporaneous cultural critics used the film to, in turn, express their dismay at migration from Lebanon. Reading the film closely for the affects it contains and for those it produced in its readers, I argue that this technique, attendant to both sides of this dynamic, affords us new insights into the manner in which cinema produced during Lebanon's golden period interacted with and complicated the dominant cultural narratives of that era.