A spirited, entertaining tale of women in a Lebanese village distracting their men from ‘religious war’, directed by and starring Nadine Labaki (Caramel). People’s Choice Award, Toronto International Film Festival 2011.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
Winner of the hotly contested audience award at Toronto, this spirited, shaggy tale of women distracting men from ‘religious war’ offers an inventive mix of painful experience, wish fulfilment and down-to-earth good sense.
“Women of different religions in a remote Lebanese village band together and invent schemes to prevent their men from killing each other in the intractable religious conflict that surrounds their community. This entertaining and unlikely near-musical tears down stereotypes of women in the Middle East and uses humor to explore serious subjects, with one eye toward Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and the other toward Bollywood… Labaki’s follow-up to the delicious Caramel [NZIFF08] is refreshing and unflinching. Inhabited by a cast of characters that promote an alternate vision of unity and sisterhood with irreverence and charming simplicity, the film gives short shrift to conventions and taboos.” — New Directors/ New Films
“Once sheltered by its isolation and the cheek-to-jowl intimacy of its denizens, the uneasy peace between Muslims and Christians in this small town threatens to shatter when the outside world begins to filter in, first through town-square TV broadcasts then tit-for-tat jabs that appear ready to escalate into violence. So the village’s women conspire to preserve harmony any way they can, even if that means importing a motley cadre of Ukrainian ‘exotic’ dancers. What results is… [spoiler deleted] and a film that injects ground-level merriment and humanity into the headlines, thanks to director, cowriter, and star Nadine Labaki, who has a gimlet eye and a generous spirit.” — Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Bay Guardian