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Rated PG-13 · 100 minutes · 2012

Comedy drama, Musical
The Lebanese civil war is just about the last setting in which we’d expect a playful, comic song-and-dance parable, but filmmaker Nadine Labaki carries it off with style. The Muslim and Christian men in the isolated village are always on the point of killing each other, so the village women have learned to deflect the men’s violent urges in various ingenious ways – like interrupting alarming newscasts on the town’s only TV set with fake arguments, or baking hashish pastries in order to put the would-be combatants to sleep. Or hiring a troupe of Ukrainian strippers as a distraction. Writer-director-actor Labaki plays the town sexpot, a Christian woman named Amale who operates the local café. The basic feel of the piece is the same as in Labaki’s 2007 Caramel, the story of a Beirut beauty shop, but with the added dimension of giving the village women the moral high ground by making them the peacemakers. Fine support acting by Claude Baz Moussawbaa as Takla and Julien Farhat as Rabih. (100 min.)
Director: Nadine Labaki
Cast: Claude Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Nadine Labaki, Yvonne Maalouf, Antoinette Noufaily, Julian Farhat, Kevin Abboud and Petra Sahbini


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