“Capernaum” is Friday Movie

February 24, 2020 // Filed under Blog

On Friday, February 28 at 2:00 pm, Bernardsville Public Library will present a free screening of “Capernaum” (2018), the runner-up for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film that year. It’s a heart-wrenching story about a resourceful, sympathetic 12-year-old Lebanese boy named Zain who sues his parents in protest of the life they have given him. Zain runs away from his parents in a desperate attempt to save his teenage sister from a forced marriage, commits a violent crime because of it, and ends up being sentenced to jail. A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote of the movie, “You might see a trace of Huck Finn in Zain – a wily, footloose boy whose wanderings illuminate the absurdities and horrors of the larger world.”

While “Capernaum” is a fictional story, it is based on research by Director Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, the film’s producer, co-writer and composer, who spent three years researching the impoverished neighborhoods where “Capernaum” is set. Common Sense Media describes it as “a sobering, gritty, powerful drama about a brave, young boy struggling to survive and protect a baby on the streets of a poverty-stricken area of Lebanon.”

“Capernaum” received a 15-minute standing ovation following its premiere at Cannes Film Festival in May 2018, where it was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize, and received general critical acclaim, with particular praise given to Ms. Labaki’s direction. Writing for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott named it as one of the best films of 2018. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it “an emotional powerhouse.”

Viewers are encouraged to linger after the film to talk about it. A brief document with background information will be provided to start the discussion, and there is always a spirited conversation about character, motivation and style.

Bernardsville Library’s movie series is funded by gifts to the Friends of the Bernardsville Library. The movies are selected for cultural enrichment and for appeal to a wide variety of tastes and interests in the community.

There is no charge to attend the movies; advance sign-up is requested, but not required. To register, click here. The library is located at 1 Anderson Hill Road in Bernardsville.

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