CAPHARNAƜM

USA / Lebanon, 2018 (MIFF 2018, Headliners)

Director: Nadine Labaki

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.

Twelve-year-old Zain stands in a Beirut court and declares that he wants to sue his parents "for giving [him] life". A shocking and outlandish statement, but as Labaki’s film traces through Zain’s experiences – born in a family overwhelmed by too many children, slum neighbourhoods, a sister sold into marriage, deprivation and roaming the streets as the sole caretaker of an abandoned toddler – his grievances against the world and those who brought him into it reverberate with righteous fury.

Drawing astonishing performances from her cast of non-professional actors depicting situations not far from their own life experiences, Labaki’s sprawling film is an impassioned and bold triumph. One of only three women directors competing in the main competition at Cannes this year, she has crafted a dark but deeply humane Kafka-esque tale of empathy and insight.

"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


See also...

CARAMEL (M)

"Caramel is the idea of sweet and salt, sugary and sour, of the delicious sugar that can burn or hurt you." - filmmaker Nadine Labaki ... Sugar, water and lemon juice - for the workers and friends who... More »

LEAVE NO TRACE

Oscar-nominated Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, MIFF 2010) makes her long-awaited return to feature filmmaking with Leave No Trace, a humane depiction of the bond between father and daughter, and the uni... More »

WONDERSTRUCK - CAPTIONED SCREENING

Julianne Moore reunites with Todd Haynes in this intoxicating, visually ravishing adaptation of Hugo writer Brian Selznick's illustrated tale of two deaf runaways and the glimmering, redemptive magic ... More »

LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD

"[The internet] is not a cloud. It is servers and routers, which can be very easy to control and very easy to destroy … give me a bazooka, and I'll do it." – director Werner Herzog ... Celebrated film... More »

GOOD TIME

Robert Pattinson electrifies in this pulse-quickening heist thriller from American indie stars Josh and Benny Safdie, one of the most buzzed-about hits at this year's Cannes festival. ... White-hot di... More »

HEART OF A DOG

"Highly intellectually engaging and provocative and also emotionally wrecking … one feels sad experiencing it, but it's so wonderful one simply can't be sad that it's in the world." – RogerEbert.com... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director