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“CAPERNAUM”
Lebanon; Nadine Labaki



Director: Nadine Labaki
Producers: Michel Merkt and Khaled Mouzanar
Writers: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojaily, Michelle Keserwany, Georges Khabbaz, and Khaled Mouzanar
Cinematography: Christopher Aoun
Editor: Konstantin Bock
Composer: Khaled Mouzanar
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Run-time: 123 minutes


FILM SYNOPSIS: After running away from his poverty-stricken life in the slums of Beirut, 12-year-old Zain travels to a coastal town where he meets Ethiopian immigrant Rahil and her toddler son Yonas. Rahil takes Zain in and he becomes Yonas’s babysitter, but Zain’s life is again upended when Rahil disappears, prompting him to take desperate measures.


Throughout the awards season, a theme started popping up in these foreign films, of small children having to fend for themselves on the streets. “Shopliifters,” “Socrates” (a Film Independent Spirit Award nominee), and now “Capernaum” saw kids on the street, hustling just to get by. It’s telling where other countries are at when it comes to their concerns and poverty, especially for children is up there. But all the films mentioned dealt with so much more, almost finding the beauty in these situations and showing that even though they have many other concerns because of their socioeconomic conditions, they also deal with some of the same problems that everyone else does. “Capernaum” shows the tight connection between a young boy and his young sister as well as the capacity for love when meeting a single mother and her child.

Going up against three Foreign Language Features that have multiple nominations is a huge thing working against “Capernaum,” especially if “Roma” is a formidable as it seems this season. Even if it ends up not being so, “Cold War” and “Never Look Away” each have multiple nominations and likely have higher chances than “Capernaum.”


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

LEBANON
YEAR FILM AWARD CATEGORY
2017 (90th) “The Insult” Nominated Best Foreign Language Film



LAEMMLE PLAYHOUSE

VIEWED: Sunday, February 3, 2019

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