Capharnaum

Astounding Lebanese movie by Nadine Labaki heart breaking in its intent with power packed performances by all. Nadine has a large canvas – it is Beirut’s teeming poor people, their struggle for daily life, the slums, the illegal immigrants who clutch at straws to take care for their family. Zain (Zain Al Rafaea) is one among the children of Souad (Kawsar Al Haddad) and Selim (Fadi Yousuf) who takes care of the rest of his siblings of which there are many and struggle to eke out a living, foregoing school. There are poignant scenes of Zain lugging merchandise to be delivered to people while school buses are passing by. He is fond of his sister Sahar (Cedra Izzam) who he fears will be married off just after her puberty. The dreaded thing happens and he rebels against it ferociously and leaves house. There he meets an Ethiopian refugee Rahil (Yordanos Shiferow) who has a kid and her papers are not in order. Zain finds shelter with them taking care of the kid. Rahil is meanwhile sent to detention over illegal papers whilst Zain is left alone with the kid. He finds another street urchin who plans on migrating to Sweden. Zain is inventive in making money and manages to accumulate some amount but the tenanted house is locked out by the landlord over non payment of rent. So Zain is out on the street with the kid. He hands over the kid to a middleman for some little money and goes back home to get his papers. Back home he discovers that there are no papers and his sister Sahar has died due to complications from pregnancy. He sets out to take revenge on the guy who married her at tender young age of 11 and made her pregnant.

Zain is an actual Syrian refugee and he has delivered a power packed performance. Nadine has managed to extract maximum performances from the entire crew. Child marriage, buying and selling of kids, immigrant corruption business are all brilliantly brought out by Nadine.

Picture used only for representational purposes and not with an intent to violate copyright.

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