Lebanese movie night: Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, 2018)

Sunday 29 January 2023, Lebanese movie night: Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, 2018), 126 minutes, in Arabic with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

Zain, a 12-year-old, living in the slums of Beirut ends up in the Roumieh Prison after a stabbing. Capernaum is told in flashback format, focusing on Zain’s life, including his encounter with an Ethiopian immigrant Rahil and her infant son Yonas, and leading up to his attempt to sue his parents for child neglect, “for giving him life in such a chaotic world. He’s actually not only suing his parents, he’s suing the whole system because his parents are also victims of that system — one that is failing on so many levels and that completely ends up excluding people” according Labaki.
Like her past movies, Capernaum features a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors, and tackles societal ills. Capernaum is fiction, but its portrayal of Lebanon’s rampant poverty and treatment of undocumented populations is very realistic. “Capernaum is a biblical village that was doomed by Jesus. Later on, the word started being used to signify chaos.”
“Some critics are very cynical of the film and say this is not really happening because they don’t see it around them… All I can tell them is: “Get real. Get out of your cafe where you’re writing your critique and go out into the world and see what’s happening around you.” What you see in the film is nothing compared to reality. We should wake up to how many children are suffering in the world. It’s unbearable suffering; I didn’t put rape scenes in the film, I didn’t put real abuse in the film — because I couldn’t.”

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net