“I asked the children I spoke to if they were happy to be alive, and for the most part they said no.”
It’s hard to imagine a world where children are so miserable, they wish they were never born. Yet, that’s exactly what award-winning filmmaker Nadine Labaki makes audiences feel in her latest movie, Capernaum. Children suffer in plain sight and are largely ignored in the streets of Lebanon while they fight to survive the pains of hunger, abuse and neglect.
This week, WomanScape examines the art of film as a powerful voice for social change. This is nothing new in the film industry, particularly for movie makers who spark conversation around racism and women’s equality. We’ve seen this in a plethora of movies from Gone With the Wind (1940) to more recent films like Hidden Figures (2017) and BlacKkKlansman (2018).
WS Feature: Nadine Labaki
It’s clear, Labaki’s talent is rare. She is a writer, actor, director and producer whose unique skillset stands tall in an industry where few women have the power to advocate change.
Labaki’s voice is organic and harnesses a street-style approach that throws us, in the case of Capernaum, into the very bowels and filth of Lebanon’s chaotic streets. We watch helplessly, infuriated by the injustice suffered by women and children who struggle to overcome the horrific consequences of war.
Audiences marvel at the lengths Labaki has taken to show us this strife. The film was shot over six months at the cost of $4 million, a shoestring budget in Hollywood dollars. Labaki spent two years editing twelve hours of final cuts and her husband, who wrote the music scores and mortgaged their house (where some of the crew lived), just to make the film.
Lebanese-born writer, Yara Zgheib is one of our own greatest talents so you won’t want to miss her story this Wednesday as she discusses Labaki’s art and seeds of change.
Before you go, we have some exciting news. In addition to providing free inspirational content each week on WomanScape, we’re unveiling an exciting new WS Magazine in e-reader format.
We’ll share more this coming week and how you can access our content on ISSUU – one of the world’s most popular platforms
Continuer to live boldly and we’ll see you Monday with our popular WS Art Card. Visit us Wednesday for our feature story, and Friday as we spark conversation with a related video.
Rose & the WomanScape Team