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Capernaum – Festival de Cannes In Competition Prospectus

Cafarnaúm / Capernaum

Nadine Labaki – Lebanon

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This politically-charged fable, which features mostly non-professional actors, tells the story of a child who launches a lawsuit against his parents. This is the third feature by Lebanese actress-turned director Nadine Labaki and is based on an original story penned by Labaki and Jihad Hojeily whose credits include “Caramel” and “Where Do We Go Now”. (by Bianca Garner)



“As for the title, it refers to the town on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus was supposed to have taught in the synagogue and healed the sick – the parallel between Jesus’s precocity and that of Zain is certainly ironic. It’s a simplistic film in some ways, with a naive ending – but there is energy and vigour, too.” – – – – – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Labaki does a superb job capturing the cacophony of the streets through a mixture of nervous camera movements, shrewd editing, and a multitude of sounds, generally keeping the camera just below or just above the boy’s head.” – – – – – Jay Weissberg, Variety

“You want some measure of peace for these characters, but Labaki also wants to make them emblems, which feels unnecessarily manipulative. She’s done so much, after all: pulled impossible-feeling performances from her young leads, and turned Beirut’s slums into a kind of unrelenting, absolutely memorable choral dysfunction. It’s not as if we’re not crying our eyes out already. – – – – – Emily Yoshida, Vulture


We could have a very young Best Actor winner. We could have a woman win the Palme d’Or, the Grand Prize, the Jury Prize. Nadine Labaki’s film summed up the Cannes Film Festival with it’s warm, emotional reception. When, quite frankly, audiences did not know what to expect.

If Nadine Labaki is not named Best Director to represent an incredible achievement, but also the grueling shoot and near two year post-production then one of those big prizes will head the film’s way.



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