Capernaum
 
 

Directed by Nadine Labaki, Lebanon 2018
126 mins. Arabic and Amharic dialogue with English subtitles

SHORT-LISTED : BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM AT 2019 OSCARS

WINNER : JURY PRIZE AT 2018 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

 
Summary:
 
Capernaum (which means 'chaos' in Arabic) tells the story of Zain, a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the 'crime' of giving him life. The film follows Zain as he journeys from gutsy, streetwise child to hardened 12-year-old 'adult' fleeing his negligent parents, surviving through his wits on the streets, where he meets Ethiopian migrant-worker Rahil, who provides him with shelter and food, as Zein takes care of her baby son Yonas in return. Zein later gets jailed for committing a violent crime, and finally seeks justice in a courtroom.
 
What the Critics say:
 
"Naturalism meets melodrama in this harrowing, hectic tale of a lost boy’s adventures in the slums and shantytowns of Beirut ... Labaki refuses to lose sight of the exuberance, grit and humour that people hold onto even in moments of the greatest desperation."  (A.O. Scott - The New York Times)