Neo-realism at its best, as this hard hitting film about a 12 year old boy Zain [Zain Al Rafeea] shows, whose neglectful and criminal family struggle to survive in post-conflict Beirut. Director Labaki cast non-professional actors, which gives the film a documentary feel, with a cameo by herself as the lawyer who represents the jailed Zain from where he sues his parents for neglect. A film about how humanity can elude individuals but, as seen in our earlier film Shoplifters, still be evident in circumstances of extremis. Labaki shines a spotlight on the refugee crisis in the Middle East, the consequences of being unregistered and stateless and its effects on the children who live there.
Dir: Nadine Labaki, Lebanon, 125 mins, 2018