TIFF19 REVIEW: 1982 [2019]

Don’t invite the war into our home. Before 2007, all Lebanese men were conscripted to serve in the military for at least one year. I’ve heard from multiple people that it wasn’t a question of citizenship, but ethnicity. If I ever visited before that year, I wouldn’t have been able to return to America without fulfilling that obligation. Whether or not this was actually true—I’m not certain. But even if it wasn’t, all the children born there during a lengthy civil war against Syrian occupation and an eventual Israeli invasion…

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TIFF REVIEW: کفرناحوم [Capharnaüm] [Capernaum] [2018]

Because I was born. The synopsis doesn’t lie. Young Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is in prison, his five-year sentence just put into effect. He has no papers despite being born in Lebanon and thus a doctor must estimate his age by his lack of baby teeth as twelve. But here he is anyway for a crime his mother dismisses as “childish,” a label the judge scoffs at considering the term’s length. It’s no wonder then that Zain has called this latest trial to sue his parents for neglect. Worse than…

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REVIEW: وهلّأ لوين؟ [Where Do We Go Now?] [2011]

“They got me to fake a miracle. I won’t even get into hell now.” Winner of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, وهلّأ لوين؟ [Where Do We Go Now?] tells the tale of a small Lebanese town and its unavoidable clash of religions. Friends, neighbors, and romantic interests, the Christian and Muslim inhabitants co-exist peacefully until the outside world infiltrates with news reports of hostility. A news anchor’s account of the fighting sparks a war of words amongst the once serene collection of citizens basking in the…

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