The Badri family have escaped pollution and corruption in Beirut for a new home in the mountains when suddenly the authorities show up, with plans to create a landfill next door. Mounia Akl’s directing debut sprung out of Beirut’s garbage crisis in the mid-2010s that caused huge protests; in the years since, the situation in Lebanon has only grown worse. The symbolism in this drama is far from subtle, but still effective and handsomely staged, including dream sequences that illustrate the different desires of the Badris, a family plagued by increasing tension. A very human, rich portrait of family dynamics and societal challenges.
2021-Lebanon-France-Qatar-Spain-Sweden-Denmark-Norway-U.S. 106 min. Color. Produced by Myriam Sassine, Georges Schoucair. Directed by Mounia Akl. Screenplay: Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet. Cinematography: Joe Saade. Cast: Nadine Labaki (Soraya Badri), Saleh Bakri (Walid Badri), Nadia Charbel (Tala Bakri), Ceana Restom, Geana Restom, Liliane Chacar Khoury.
Trivia: The Restom girls are twins and play Rim, the youngest family member.
Last word: “Soraya’s past is something she doesn’t talk about to her kids, because the same way, I sometimes don’t want to talk about Lebanon with my friends when I’m out of Lebanon because it’s an ache that’s so big and so painful that sometimes speaking about it is a reminder that our country is falling apart. But for the father talking about Beirut is talking about his biggest love because in the end, he is completely in love with the Beirut, and that’s why he’s so harsh. So I wanted to explore the silence of our parents when it comes to their trauma and how it makes kids even more curious.” (Akl, Moveable Fest)