Nadine Lebaki leads us through the streets of Lebanon in a story that writhes with energy, emotion and sincerity. As we follow the journey of young Zain through a fog of abuse, separation and childhood longing. While Lebaki expertly uses the camera with documentary like precision in creating a powerful reflection of a damaged world. For this reason Capernaum sears itself into the memory of the viewing. Creating a film where you feel Zains emotion as a boy lost in a big and hectic world. His childhood needs conflicting with a forced adult existence.
To this end Zain Al Rafeea’s performance is one of pure authenticity and beauty. Creating a dynamic where the audience desperately long for him to find happiness. His expressions reflecting his world with no speech needed.
In many respects Capernaum echoes a Dickens novel in construct. While never providing us with the classic happy ending. In a razor sharp exploration of the no-mans land between childhood and adulthood in communities where poverty is rife.
Director: Nadine Labaki