Reviews - Capernaum
Reviewed By Vaughan Ames
The actors were all non-professional and the script was adapted to allow them to bring in their own life experiences to their parts. The story revolves around a diminutive 12 year old Zain who starts off living a very hand to mouth existence in Beirut in a large family until he leaves home in disgust when his parents effectively sell their eleven year old daughter as a bride to their landlord. We join Zain's life in court where he is suing his parents... for having him in the first place! The film becomes his evidence that they are terrible parents as the flashbacks gradually show what he has gone through.
Zain spends some time on the streets with nowhere to live and little or no food to eat until he is taken in by Rahil and starts to look after her tiny baby Yonas. The three of them have nothing but he is at least in a loving 'family' until Rahil is arrested for having no visa. Not knowing where she is, Zain does his best to look after Yonas, but his life is spiraling down into chaos again... The acting is superb, especially Zain; his look into the camera at the end will live with us for a long time. Amazingly, the film does manage to end on a hopeful note...but I won't tell you what happens; do see it if you can!
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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