Director: Nadine Labaki
Cast: Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Leyla Hakim, Nadine Labaki
France, Lebanon, Egypt, Italy , 110’, 2011, color
Arabic, Russian, English with Turkish subtitles
In an isolated Lebanese village, the mosque and the church stand side by side--but religious tension threatens to boil over, particularly as a series of pranks escalates into ever-increasing hostility. The women of the village, both Christian and Muslim, concoct improbable schemes to defuse the tension, including hiring a troupe of Ukrainian belly dancers. Where Do We Go Now? veers back and forth between wrenching drama and cheerful comedy but somehow maintains a balance. Director-actress Nadine Labaki leads her mostly nonprofessional cast with heart and fervor. This commitment allows the movie to juggle the broad comedy of the mayor's wife pretending to channel the Virgin Mary and the grief of a mother losing her son to a random bullet. In a particularly poetic moment, the belly dancers take a tour around the town and discover that the cemetery is segregated into Christian and Muslim plots; even in death, the town is divided.
Following the opening of his studio, “El Chark Societe Photographic,” on Beyoğlu’s Postacılar Caddesi in 1857, the Levantine-descent Pascal Sébah moves to yet another studio next to the Russian Embassy in 1860 with a Frenchman named A. Laroche, who, apart from having worked in Paris previously, is also quite familiar with photographic techniques.
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