Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and currently nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film), Lebanese writer-director Nadine Labaki‘s kinetic, timely, captivating drama CAPERNAUM (“Chaos”) tells the story of Zain (Zain al Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. Made with a cast of non-professional actors playing characters whose lives closely parallel their own, the film follows the gutsy, streetwise child as he flees his negligent parents, survives through his wits on the streets, takes care of Ethiopian refugee Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw) and her baby son, Yonas (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole), being jailed for a crime, and finally, seeks justice in a courtroom.
Following her script, Labaki placed her performers in scenes and asked them to react spontaneously with their own words and gestures; when the non-actors’s instincts diverged from the written script, Labaki adapted the screenplay to follow them. While steeped in the quiet routines of ordinary people, CAPERNAUM is a film with an expansive palette: without warning it can ignite with emotional intensity, surprise with unexpected tenderness, and inspire with flashes of poetic imagery. Although it is set in the depths of a society’s systematic inhumanity, CAPERNAUM is ultimately a hopeful film that stirs the heart as deeply as it cries out for action.
“The sorrow inherent in this tale would be unbearable without the film’s flashes of humor and performances by a cast of nonprofessionals that are moving beyond measure.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)
“There’s no doubt at all that Labaki is a filmmaker of extreme empathy, with a real intuition for how to capture the dynamics between children in particular.” (Vulture)
“CAPERNAUM is a hectic and heartbreaking film, driven by its director Nadine Labaki’s curiosity and the charisma of her young star, Zain al Rafeea.” (The NYTimes)
“A searing, unforgettable work.” (Seattle Times)
Saturday, February 23
Doors 12:30 pm | Movie 1:00 pm *Sharp! Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets $10.50 HERE | $12.50 at the door
*Minors permitted in the balcony. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service and main floor seating.
**Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK! Please redeem at the door.
CAPERNAUM (Nadine Labaki, 2018 / 121 mins / PG) Zain, a 12-year-old boy scrambling to survive on the streets of Beirut, sues his parents for having brought him into such an unjust world, where being a refugee with no documents means that your rights can easily be denied.