Who knew that 'misery' was a genre?
I wish this film hadn't been so well made. If it'd been less well made, I might not have taken it so hard.
Capernaum is a badly titled film about Zain, a 12-year-old Syrian immigrant growing up in the slums of Beirut. His parents love him... to bring home money and food but other then that they couldn't really care less for him or his indiscriminate number of brothers and sisters. Zain doesn't go to school, works full time at a convenience 'store' and his favourite sister is given away to be married at 11 years old. And then his life gets tough.
The film has its shortcomings. The ending feels like it was forgotten about until the money was nearly out and then they had to wrap everything up during their lunch hour. Or the court case which is used as a framing device and feels very gimmicky (and is fortunately not dwelt upon).
But what works, works too well. There is a devastating sense of realism that comes through thanks to the directing and to the cast, many of whom are amateurs plucked from the streets to play the roles of their lives. Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) was a Syrian immigrant, Kawsar Al Haddad (his mother in the film) was an illegal immigrant, the girl who played his sister (Haita 'Cedra' Izzam) was discovered selling chewing gum on the streets of Beirut, the real life parents of the baby (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole) with whom Zain bonds in the movie were illegals and were deported for a time during the filming...
There is enough reality here to choke you, or at least choke you up.
Capernaum is an experience so poignant it will pierce your heart, steal your breath, and wet your eyes with truth. It is a film you will probably love but certainly not like.
that was incredibly heart breaking! another one of the foreign lenguage movies that could beat any of the 8 nominees for best picture!! and Zain was spectacular !!! in a fair world he'd be nominated for best actor easily
I like Labaki. I liked this movie.But... I dunno, there's too much emotional blackmail going on in the movie for my liking.In terms of Child Poverty Movie Genre, this is more along the lines of Slumdog Millionaire than, say... The Bicycle Thief, to put it briefly.
Good things in the movie:
Not so good things:
It is said that Labaki made this movie after seeing a child in the street so she wanted to tell the story of children like him. Nadine Labaki is not poor, she probably never been poor in her life (nowhere poor as the characters in the movie, at least), so that's why her view ultimately lacks depth and feels too simplistic. It's what you'd expect from someone who's never been poor in their life.
So, is it a movie worth watching? yes, the good things are good, and if you're living in a first world country you will enjoy how this movie makes you feel about poverty and all that stuff, abd unless you've walked those streets and went through these experiences, this movie will be alright for you.
it's a dark, very dark movie, have a lot and lots of pain it and are you in a good mood so watch it..
Absolutely incredible film making. Devastating, brutal and all those other adjectives that describe being born into poverty in a developing country.
Nadine Labaki has created a masterpiece. Zain Al Rafeea's performance is among the greatest pieces of child acting I've ever seen. Khaled Mouzanar wrote the screenplay and the score, which is beautiful. Christopher Aoun's cinematography is also on the nail.
This film is superb. I hope many, many people watch it.
Heartbreaking, all the more so considering this is an authentic examination of refugee life. Given extra resonance by a cast of amateurs; people who have experienced the world that the film depicts. Young Zain deserves an Oscar!
Perhaps a tad too long and a shade stretchy in its concept, yet the film drenches you in the personality that is Zain. The very young actor embodies this role fully.
A rough life, but sweetnes and love is found anywhere, even in the darkest of places. It's only so heartbreaking to see how this young boy tries to do everything he can to do the right thing, and yet the world around him is not letting him. Shockingly real for how it must be in real.
It had me in tears.
Best film I've watched in ages.
Yet another great film from Nadine Labaki. Deeply moved by Zain's relation with his sister Sahar, a child trying to protect another child from getting married, well that speaks volumes!And boy do Lebanese dictionary just filled with creative swears
i can say this is the best movie of Nadine labaki, deserves a palm d'or besides shoplifters. the story is classic but well written and too well performed by the actors, especially the young kid. i usually dont like emotional movies but this is one is too original that we dont see the difference between reality and the movie.Great one.