Where Do We Go Now?
DIRECTED BY NADINE LABAKI
FRANCE/LEBANON/ITALY/EGYPT, 2011, 100 MIN, RATED PG-13
IN ARABIC, RUSSIAN, AND ENGLISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
The surprise winner of the People’s Choice (Audience) Award at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival and the follow-up to her 2007 international hit, Caramel, Nadine Labaki’s musical comedy WHERE DO WE GO NOW? presents a wildly creative and light-hearted take on centuries-long religious conflict in Lebanon. Fed up with mourning their husbands and sons, the women of a remote Lebanese village, where Christians and Muslims live side by side, concoct radically inventive schemes to prevent partisan violence from further corrupting their loved ones. To suppress inter-religious conflicts, the women are not above sabotaging the village’s sole television, colluding with the priest and imam, nor hiring a bus-load of Ukrainian strippers to distract their men. A wonderfully insightful, original, and comical commentary on the absurdity of war between brothers, Labaki’s superbly written comic fantasy deftly balances humor and tragedy as it shows how hard these women work to salvage peace in their village. Khaled Mouzanar’s original music and songs underscore the film’s vivacious wit, and the cast—peppered with professionals and local villagers—delivers charmingly genuine performances.