What an accomplishment.
Nadine Labaki just became the first Lebanese director to win such a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s the festival’s third highest prize.
After receiving a 15 minute standing ovation after its screening on Thursday, the film immediately became a front runner, at the heel of what some are calling “the best baby performance in the history of cinema.”
Capharnaüm, with its Lebanese and international release dates to be determined, tells the story of Zain, a 12 year old Lebanese child, who sues his parents for bringing him into the life they’ve given him: that of squalor, poverty, abuse, child brides, and lack of papers.
The reviewer for The Guardian called the middle section of the movie so ambitious that he doesn’t even know how Nadine Labaki pulled it off, calling the movie a favorite for the Best Foreign Feature Oscar as well for next year’s awards. Deadline, on the other hand, called the movie an instant foreign language Oscar front runner, believing the movie should even go beyond that category, the way Amour did in 2013.
With this movie, it seems Nadine Labaki has upped her game from the already high bar she set with her previous two features, and at this point it seems the sky is her limit. I cannot wait to see what this ingenious Lebanese director, the best in her generation, has to keep offering.
If anything, I hope that with movies like Capharnaüm, Lebanese moviemakers realize the importance of telling the stories that Lebanese society entails. Those are the kind of movies we should be making, as we touch on the wounds that plague our communities in our attempt to heal them.
Furthermore, the movie even features an Ethiopian refugee named Yordanos Shifera who’s been living in Lebanon without proper documents. That same actress has now been given the chance to walk the red carpet of an award winning movie in which she had a vital role. That’s amazing.
There’s already a scene circulating online from the movie, which you can watch here:
This is reportedly the opening scene of the movie.
Congrats Nadine Labaki. You made all of us proud, and I hope you keep receiving the accolades for your new masterpiece.