Tag: Lebanon

Where Do We Go Now?

May 17th, 2012 — 4:52am


Where Do We Go Now? sp—It could have been New York City and the gang war between the Jets and the Sharks as seen in Westside Story. Or perhaps it could be the Bloods and the Crypts  who in reality  have an uneasy truce in Los Angeles which usually prevents them from killing each other. However this movie takes us to small village in Lebanon (although the name of the country is never mentioned to suggest a certain universality to the theme). In this case there are two factions Muslims and Christians with their respective houses of worship being literally facing each other. They live side by side in this small village but all too often friction occurs and the men are at each other and young men die. It is not this way with the women of this village who are friends and share their mourning and grief as they periodically bury their men. Second time Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki who wrote, directed and starred in this movie was inspired to create this movie shortly after she had her first child and was in anguish over a political rift in her country during which men were fighting in the street. She was moved to consider how horrible it must be to raise your son in this environment. She wrote a screenplay of what might happen if the women of this village were to get together and conspire to stop this senseless killing of the boys and men. The result is a poignant and comedic fable, which reminds us what women can do when they work together to try to protect their families. Ms. Labaki is not only inspired but is very talented. She created this movie using mostly non-actors, who often worked from the concept of a scene rather than following a tight script. Nevertheless there were some particularly authentic dramatic moments, which were done quite well. It did take a little while for us to get completely oriented to the storyline and the 100 minutes running time could have been edited more tightly. The theme partially echoes an  Albanian film The Forgiveness of Blood where ancient traditions of mediation are used to try to prevent the feuds but in the current film Ms Labaki‘s  instincts clearly focuses on the power of women. (2012)  

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign


May 29th, 2011 — 9:27pm


Incendies –rm It would help if from the beginning, you were aware that this movie is mostly involved with the vicious  Lebanon civil war between the Moslems and the Christians. It make take a bit to become completely oriented as the movie does consist of alternating stories in different time. It also doesn’t help that it is mostly  in French with English subtitles. But eventually we got the hang of it and the very unusual plot which we are introduced to at the beginning as twins  Jeanne and Simon are being read their mother’s will and realize she has asked them to carry out her final wishes and deliver two letters on her behalf.  Their task seems almost as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. If you don’t mind fiction being stranger than the really terrible things that happen to people in these type of wars, the movie provides a gripping story. It is horrifying at times with what should be an unexpected ending. It provides lessons of persistence, forgiveness, motherly love  and an appreciation that any one of us if we were switched at birth, could be quite the opposite of the person we turned out to be. The movie, which was co-written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, received recognition with several film festival awards and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.(2011)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign, War

Back to top