capharnaüm کفرناحوم

Monsters exist because they are part of the divine plan, and in the horrible features of those same monsters the power of the creator is revealed.
Umberto Eco

 

 

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Capharnaüm has the power to shake the audience.  Nadine Labaki, the film director, shot the movie in a documentary-like fashion, making the viewers to believe that her “actors” aren’t playing characters at all but going about their business as if a camera wasn’t present. That’s no easy feat, and even if the film trips on its ambition at times, it’s still a tremendous achievement for a filmmaker who has a keen eye for detail. The film focuses on a young child who decides to sue his parents for bringing him into this world.

Labaki uses flashbacks to explore the dark side of the child’s environment: the miserable conditions in which he was forced to live in, his relationship with his parents, and his everyday life in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lebanon. All this can make the public squirm in discomfort at times, mainly because it feels real. The characters are real people with real problems, and it’s so easy to relate to their feelings and their actions at every turn of this gripping drama. There are no real “villains” in the film, just victims of terrible conditions. And just like real life, what happens is almost impossible to predict.

Watch the trailer: Capharnaüm

 

Movie Info

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Nadine Labaki’s CAPERNAUM (“Chaos”) tells the story of Zain (Zain al Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. CAPERNAUM follows Zain, a gutsy streetwise child as he flees his negligent parents, survives through his wits on the streets, takes care of Ethiopian refugee Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw) and her baby son, Yonas (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole), being jailed for a crime, and finally, seeks justice in a courtroom. CAPERNAUM was made with a cast of non-professionals playing characters whose lives closely parallel their own. Following her script, Labaki placed her performers in scenes and asked them to react spontaneously with their own words and gestures. When the non-actors’s instincts diverged from the written script, Labaki adapted the screenplay to follow them. While steeped in the quiet routines of ordinary people, CAPERNAUM is a film with an expansive palette: without warning it can ignite with emotional intensity, surprise with unexpected tenderness, and inspire with flashes of poetic imagery. Although it is set in the depths of a society’s systematic inhumanity, CAPERNAUM is ultimately a hopeful film that stirs the heart as deeply as it cries out for action.

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