Rating: M 126’ mature these and coarse language
Cast: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole
Director: Nadine Labaki
Lebanese with English sub-titles
Receiving a 15-minute standing ovation as well as the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Nadine Labaki’s neorealist fable centres on a child attempting to divorce his parents.
After being jailed for committing a violent crime, Zain, a mistreated 12-year-old boy, sues his parents for giving him life. Zain’s large family live hand to mouth in a squalid apartment in Lebanon. The kids work instead of going to school. When Zain’s 11 year old sister is sold into marriage, he flees the family home in search of a better life. He is taken in and lovingly cared for by an illegal Ethiopian worker, Rahil, who lives in a shanty house with her baby. But when Rahil disappears, Zain is suddenly left to fend for himself and her baby, resorting to increasingly desperate measures to survive.
Director Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?) cast non-professional actors from displaced backgrounds similar to their characters, resulting in authentic and extraordinary performances.
“Sensational … a social-realist blockbuster – fired by furious compassion and teeming with sorrow, yet strewn with diamond-shards of beauty, wit and hope.” – The Telegraph