World Cinema: Nadine Labaki's three movies I liked

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


I don't know what it is about 2020, but I have been watching a lot of non-english, non-Indian movies. Oh wait, I know exactly what it is the whole stuck-at-home vibes of 2020. It has made me want to read and consume more content that is based outside of where I live (US) and where I grew up (India). I believe that world cinema has the same power as a good book, wherein you experience the lives of people who are separated by geography but the more you watch them, the more you relate to them on a human level. That was my ted talk for the day. You are welcome.

Now let’s get back to the topic. I discovered this Lebanese director, Nadine Labaki by chance. How, you ask? It was during one of those random weeknights, the one where you have nothing to watch and you are just clicking through movie options, and you find something and you end up loving it so much, that you absolutely MUST find who the director is and watch ALL of their creations. Yup, that is how I discovered her and her movies. She has only done about five movies and I am here to tell you about the three movies I watched and enjoyed.

  •  Capernaum (2018) - This is the first one I saw of hers and everything about the movie was so raw and the cast was fabulous. It is a story of a 12 year old Lebanese boy, who lives in poverty in a tiny house with his parents and his siblings. The movie opens with a court scene, where this little boy is brought in from prison, and we find out that he wants to sue his parents for bringing him into the world. This little kid will break your heart. I will not give away much about this kid who plays the main lead, but please wikipedia it AFTER watching the movie.

  • Caramel (2007) -  This was Nadine Labaki's directorial debut and what a fun watch this was. I didn't know how much I missed watching a good chick flick, till I saw this movie. It is set in Beirut, Lebanon and it takes us through the everyday struggles and joys of these four women, who are connected by a hair salon. This was delightful and I absolutely enjoyed it. 

  • Where Do We Go Now? (2011) - This movie is set in a small, rural town in Lebanon, where Muslims and Christians have lived together peacefully since forever. The story is about what happens in that little village, when clashes begin to occur in the bigger cities between muslims and Christians. I liked what she tried doing with this movie, although, I would have liked it a lot more if she had not tried to completely switch from one genre to another, so quickly. But, watch it for the camaraderie, powerful acting and for a look into another country and its culture. 

Even as I am typing this, there is a lot that's happening in Lebanon, and I hope that peace returns soon. I have grown attached to the country and I have already added Lebanon to my travel list. 


  1. Interesting post babe... Lebanon movies are a space I guess not many explore. Like every one Korean movies is the max , I have watched in the name of world cinema.. Probably I will catch up afew of your suggestions... The countries name always picked my interest, you know because of the mention of the tree of lebanon in bible. Very recently I learnt that the flag of lebanon has a tree on it.. and that's my not so interesting trivia .And yes may peace be restored in Lebanon after all the blast and Corona chaos.

  2. That’s an interesting little trivia about the tree! Yes, please check them out and let me know how you like them :)