Capernaum Capharnaüm

Capernaum

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Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Nadine Labaki's ‘Capernaum’ (Chaos) tells the story of Zain, a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the "crime" of giving him life.

Zain (Zain al Rafeea) is a gutsy streetwise child who 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), is jailed, and finally, seeks justice in a courtroom. The film was made with 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 their instincts diverged from the written script, Labaki adapted the screenplay to follow them.

Her closing masterstroke is to subtly shed light on the perspective of Zain’s parents, giving this slow-burner a finale with a powerful plea for justice and compassion. (Subtitles)

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