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MUST END Thursday, April 11  

12:30 & 7:20 ONLY


Academy Award® Nominee!

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner of the Jury Prize at the most recent Cannes Film Festival and recipient of an 8-minute standing ovation, CAPERNAUM (the word is a French reference to hell), centers on a 12-year-old Beirut street urchin (Zain) who sues his parents in court for bringing him into a world of desperate poverty. Disgusted by his parents – who sell his sister in exchange for some chickens – Zain teams up with Rahil, a young Ethiopian refugee whose infant becomes his companion. Director Nadine Labaki’s neo-realism has been compared to that of De Sica and Rossellini. She has been lauded as “astonishingly accomplished” (Jay Weissberg, Variety) for her vision of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy that ensnarls its subjects with regulations that make their difficult lives nearly impossible. The two young leads in the film, today, live in Norway and France. “A film that already feels like a landmark.” (Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, UK)



Listen to our opening night Q&A with CAPERNAUM filmmaker Nadine Labaki, moderated by journalist Joe McGovern, below. Recorded on December 14, 2018.


“CRITIC’S PICK. A fairy tale and an opera, a potboiler and a news bulletin, a howl of protest and an anthem of resistance… The sources of (the film’s) remarkable energy are Ms. Labaki’s curiosity and the charisma of her young star, Zain al Rafeea… You might see a trace of Huck Finn in Zain… Like a Dickens Hero… His charm and magnetism amount to a kind of moral authority.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“The film has so much guts, emotion and energy you’ll want to see it.”
– Nick James, Sight + Sound

“Nothing in director Nadine Labaki’s first two pleasant features, CARAMEL and WHERE DO WE GO NOW approaches the power and skill of CAPERNAUM, which represents a major leap forward in all departments. Proving herself an astonishingly accomplished director of non-professional performers as well as a measured storyteller… (the film) tackles its subject with intelligence and heart… Labaki does a superb job capturing the cacophony of the streets through a mixture of nervous camera movements, shrewd editing, and a multitude of sounds, generally keeping the camera just below or just above the boy’s head… Young Al Rafeea is a revelation as the swaggering, foul-mouthed Zain… his seemingly effortless ability to carry the majority of the film doesn’t diminish the sterling work by the rest of the cast.”
– Jay Weissberg, Variety

“POWERFUL. The film carries a tough-minded authenticity. And in presenting us with a protagonist who, despite his age, is unusually hardened and at times even ruthless, the director does something surprising: She allows us to enter into the boy’s mind. We watch this movie not as concerned adults but as complicit secret-sharers, and that makes all the difference.”
– Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“Had Charles Dickens written about Beirut, he would have penned this story. Zain Al Rafeea plays a diminutive, feistily resourceful 12-year-old who sues his parents for having brought him into a world where they can't (or won't) care for him. Nadine Labaki has directed a couple of lovely small films, but nothing suggested she could make a work on the epic level of CAPERNAUM.”
– Bob Mondello, NPR

“Labaki lures such outstanding performances out of the almost entirely non-professional cast.”
– Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

“Sensational. Strewn with diamond-shards of beauty, wit and hope.”
– Robbie Collin, The Telegraph