Lebanese writer and director Nadine Labaki plays Amale, one of many women trying to keep the men of their village from fighting. War has ravaged their country, and the women of this small Lebanese village, having already lost sons and husbands in the violence, are desperate to prevent the fragile peace between Christians and Muslims from shattering.
It doesn’t sound like a comedy, but an odd mix of drama and humour are weaved throughout Where Do We Go Now?
Spoken in Arabic, a poem at the start of the film mentions how destiny can force a woman to show her bravery, and this is apparent through the resolution of the Muslim and Christian women to work together to keep peace in their lives.
They do this by conspiring and plotting several diversions for the men (even staging a bus full of prostitutes to break down outside the village), to make them forget about their hatred for each other.
Though many of the actors are not professional, their performance is very raw and true to life, an effect Labaki strived for. The film’s switch from tragedy to comedy is at times jarring, plus a few musical bits thrown in at odd times make the viewer unsure what will come next. The unpredictable plot however, is refreshing and though transitions are a bit rough it emulates the irregularities of life in a war-torn country, where life and death sit side by side.
In Where Do We Go Now?, Labaki addresses the waste of life when two faiths are at war, and the desire of women to have peace, and the courage they display to get it.
A film about tolerance and the strength of women. In cinemas now.
Category: Film & TV