September 24, 2011 — Jad Rahme
There are a lot of really good Lebanese movies, or at least that I liked, as West Beirut, Bosta or Caramel but this one is the best I’ve seen till now! W Hala2 La Wein (In English: Where Do We Go Now / In French: Et Maintenant, On Va Ou?) directed by Nadine Labaki is about an unnamed village where both Christians and Muslims live together and where a Church and a Mosque share the same piece of land. All the people in the village lived happily together far away from all the sectarians problems until some events happened and this is the driver of the movie. [I am not going to say more about the plot of the movie to avoid spoilers for those who are reading the review before watching the movie]
I would like first to say that I was amazed by Nadine Labaki for her acting skills but, specially for her role as a Director and Writer for this movie. This movie mix comedy and drama to open the eyes of the audience on the sectarian problems between Christian and Muslims specially in Lebanon where coexistence would solve a lot of problems the country is facing. While watching the movie you will go from laughter to sadness and emotions. However, what makes also this movie amazing, is that you feel like you are part of this village, as if you were on of those people living there: There are no barriers between you and the movie.
This movie is really amazing and it is a proof of how great Lebanese cinematography can be ! It is a movie that everyone should see: First of all, for the cinematographic part and second to wake up and realize how important are the sectarian problems (whether it is Christians-Muslims or any other religions) and feel like we should take action and work on coexistence.
Of course you will enjoy more the movie if you are Lebanese because you identify yourself with the movie characters and also because you will laugh at the Lebanese funny side of the movie like the language, the stereotypes, the reactions… This does not mean that only Lebanese people would enjoy the movie, as I said in the last paragraph “It is a movie that everyone should see”. The proof of that, is the fact that W Hala2 La Wein (Where Do We Go Now) won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. I would like to quote this from a Toronto.com article :
“The Cadillac People’s Choice award, which also includes a C$15,000 cash prize, is voted on by festival audiences and has typically been regarded as a bellwether for Oscar success.”
I should note also that I really liked the music composed by Khaled Mouzannar (Nadine’s Husband) with very nice, poetic and meaningful lyrics written by Tania Saleh.
Another important topic of this movie is the role of women and specially mothers. Labaki who is known to be a feminist person (You can also feel that from her previous movie Caramel) dedicated this movie to all the mothers and gave the most important role to the women of this village who are all mothers. [I won’t say more also to avoid spoilers]
What if our world was run by mothers ?
Please feel free to give me your comments about this last question, my review and the movie 🙂
Here is the trailer: