Caramel, the directorial debut of Nadine Labaki, premiered in 2007 at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Camera d’Or. Even though it was shot 15 years ago, the issues touched upon in this movie are still highly relevant today.
The story’s main characters are five Lebanese women who struggle with forbidden love, stifling traditions, repressed sexuality, the need to accept aging and duty versus desire.
Labaki excels at presenting life in Beirut in a realistic way and enables the audience to become attached to the warm and relatable female characters.
The movie’s events occur in an unknown Lebanese village home to both Muslims and Christians. Landmines surround the village, so it can only be reached by a narrow bridge.
The women in the village try their best to keep their men in the dark as rebellion spreads throughout the nation by sabotaging the village radio and destroying the village TV.
Nadine Labaki reached her peak with Capharnahum, one of the most famous Arabic movies and the highest-grossing one. The story follows Zain El Hajj, a 12-year-old living in the slums of Beirut who escapes from home and sues his parents for having too many children.
Described as “documentary-like realism”, Capharnahum has an IMDB rating of 8.4 and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 91st Academy Awards. Surprisingly, its biggest international market is China, which amassed over $54 million in theaters, and you can now check it out on Netflix.
Oualid Mouaness directs this movie and was the Lebanese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. Nadine Labaki stars as Yesmine, a schoolteacher in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War in early 1982.
The story highlights the innocence of children against the atrocity and fear of war as Wissam, a young boy in school, is attempting to summon the courage to come clean to his classmate Joanna about his crush on her.
Starring Nadine Labaki alongside Mona Zaki, Eyad Nassar, Adel Karam, Georges Khabbaz, Diamand Bou Abboud, and Fouad Yammine, this movie is the first Arabic-language Netflix original film produced exclusively by Arab production companies.
It is an Arabic remake of the 2016 Italian film Perfetti Sconosciuti, where a group of friends is having dinner during a lunar eclipse and discussing how humans are too reliant on their phones.
One suggests that everyone hands over their phones to be placed on the table, and any messages, emails, or calls received on any phone must be shared. What could go wrong?