A 15-minute standing ovation set the president for Lebanese actor, writer and director Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum at its premiere at Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. Her third feature film, it has since been celebrated for its outstanding performances and touching storyline. A firm favorite, it is no surprise that she has walked away with the prestigious Jury Prize, with many hailing that the film will see an Oscar nomination in the foreign language section next year too.
Following Caramel her debut film about a Beirut beauty parlor and Where Do We Go Now?, about a group of women who look at ending sectarian violence in their village, Capernaum tells the story of a destitute boy living in Beirut. The plot unwinds as he takes his parents to court, for bringing him up in a despondent existence. Touching on the subjects of the mistreatment of children, modern slavery, and immigrant workers, it is politically charged.
The win sees Labaki become the second Lebanese national to take home the Jury Award. Maroun Bagdadi won in 1991 for his film Hors La Vie based on the tale of a French photographer who is kidnapped in Beirut. Visually stunning, Sony Pictures Classics has already bought the rights for North and Latin America to ‘Capernaum’ undoubtedly pushing Labaki even further into the spotlight.