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The story of a boy who's living in Beirut during the war, He and his
family are waiting for their papers in order to leave Lebanon and seek
refuge in Sweden.... The horrors of war and the way it affects
civilians is shown in this movie and it won't leave you untouched. But
even in the most serious situations there is room for jokes and you
will alternate between crying and laughing.
This is one of the strongest movies I've seen! I've never admired any director or even known that they were alive until yesterday when I saw Zozo. With three great movies (this one is the best) Joseph Fares has shown that he truly masters the art of telling a story.
I sincerely hope this movie is translated into English and other languages and if it doesn't get nominated for best foreign movie something is not right.
Don't miss this movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Third movie by young Lebanese/Swedish director Josef Fares. While his
first two movies "Jalla, Jalla!" and "Kopps" are pure comedies, "Zozo"
uses humor very subtle to make a tough destiny bearable. This
well-acted story is inspired by Fares' own childhood, which is
something you clearly feel while watching young charismatic Imad Creidi
portraying the sensible but strong little boy Zozo, who manages to
leave Beirut and the war and makes his way by himself to Sweden, only
to bump into other kind of problems ones of a more personal nature
than the more concrete and directly life threatening ones of his native
Throughout the movie Josef Fares skilfully lets us go very near young Zozo with all the emotional twists and turns of , for someone of his age, life changing experiences.
With this, the most serious film so far by Fares, he reveals a whole different pallet of qualities than in his earlier works; a far more sensitive side. Hats off gentlemen! /Henrik Ajax
All four of my grandparents hail from Lebanon so this warm and engaging film really hit home with me. I was never able to take my grandparents back to Lebanon because the civil war was going on. This film makes it clear how horrible and wrenching that civil war was. Zozo is an 11 year old boy who lives with his parents and two siblings in an apartment in Beirut. Just as his family is able to flee Beirut tragedy strikes. Zozo finds solace in a talking chicken (trust me-- it works) and a young girlfriend. He finds peace and nurturing in Sweden with his beloved grandparents but is still in many ways an outcast. The film tells a beautiful, heartwarming story.
The young Arabian boy, Zozo lives a fairly normal life with his family
in Beirut. He's got good friends, and goes to an Arabic school. His
grandparents live in Sweden, and have been motivating him and his
family to come too. Away from the war. To a place what they saw as a
paradise. A place where there was not war. As he described it to his
friends, A country with beautiful girls and pretty houses.
From that ideal life, the movie leads you through the tragedy that Zozo experiences.
Zozo is an amazingly beautiful film (but yet no where near dramatic), that shows the world from an dreaming, mature eleven year old boy's point of view. The poetic and surrealistic filming captures the emotions in an extraordinary way, and surreal chapters of his dreams bring you closer to his mind and imagination.
I've never before cried over a movie. But the thought of this movie actually only being half fictional, since there is, and always will be war, made me feel utterly selfish, and at these circumstances you must either be a rock hard sailor or an emotionally dead soldier to at least not be a little touched by this emotional and poetic filming, and feel sympathy for the people who have to go through these circumstances. When they are forced into a war they never asked for. The victims of political arguments.
The movie is well done, I like it very much.... It is indeed very cruel
hard and tough for the boy... but while you see the movie you smile at
the same time. I never know there is such good Lebanese director.
Mabrouk. Maybe one thing.. I like the end of the movie... it shows the
innocence of children... and from nothing they are trying to be happy
in life... But I think the end is also sad.. there is a feeling of
sadness with this peaceful end of the last picture of the movie.. so I
think it is little exaggerating as drama. But again all the movie is
I arrived 5 minutes late to the theater, so I hope to see it again later.
Went to the movies not knowing what to expect, and came out of the
theater in complete silence, red eyes and in deep thought... As a
Lebanese, I could relate almost 90% to this film. It is about the life
of a young Lebanese boy during the time of war and having to immigrates
It was very well casted and produced. Also, there were many hilarious jokes in it. The grandfather plays a great role and Zozo the character is also amazing.If you have the chance, definitely go see it. It is worth your time, just be prepared for some tears to role down your face... Well done!
As a Lebanese citizen, I think it's a CLASS A movie and should have won the best foreign picture award. The actors are great, the shooting is perfect. I've seen so many American and European movies, and Lebanese movies which are very rare are not that successful and well directed. But ZOZO, which I consider to be a 100% Lebanese directed movie, ranks as one the best films I have ever seen in my life. TWO THUMBS UP I say! NB:after the civil war (1975-1991), Lebanon has become a magnificent country which you should visit... So please do not take Lebanon as a war country... But this movie showed how the Lebanese people were really living hell on earth during this period of time.
I have seen this amazing movie twice, the first time was on DVD and the
second on cinema-theater which the all tickets cost are goes to
collected for Lebanon support fund in State of Kuwait.
Zozo is the name of an innocent lebanese boy on the cusp of adolescence while his future and life are teetering on the brink of horrible destruction. actually he is too young to deal with the bloody Lebanese civil-war that is raging his country from the east to west!
So, and after his dreams & his hopes where destroyed, he is decide to travel to Sweden specially his Grandfather & Grandmother living there in peace.
and about the Film's fantastic fantasy it's as an breathing-space to audiences where watching an story's events of tragic & painful!! at this point specially I can confirm of this young director has really the competence for creating his line between the brilliant melodrama & the masterly comedy ! this is due to his talented-ways about blending the tragic's elements with the comedy's elements... without leaving his elements to interlacing for the calamitous melodrama or to sketchy comedy ... the film's way was convincible & will be ditto forever! So, the audiences will be at the end feels in happiness & in crying at the same time!
Well my readers, here & until this point must I stop the telling about the sadness & tragedy or fantasy & happiness elements in this amazing film!
Simply, we can consider this film ( Zozo ) is fully Lebanese, where 70% of it was shot mainly in lebanon, and 30% of it in Sweden. But even in Sweden the dialogue was in Lebanese too. Off course there is a little of dialogue in Swedish language ... but as I said we can consider this film is mainly Lebanese! from the director to the main actors they are Lebanese indeed not just acting and also through his main elements of events messages was in the lebanese circle even that was shot in Sweden...
This film is totally Different than ((Jala Jala)) this one is sad indeed, you can discovers his sadness between the elements. there are some senses inside this amazing film while you feel like crying!!
This young director been able to shown the true tragedy of his country civil-war! Josef Fares .. absolutely perfect & talented Director ... where crowned his early age as a big director!
I have seen his three films: Jalla! Jalla! (2000) , Kopps (2003) and Zozo (2005)
Until now (Zozo) is the best film of this young Lebanese-Swedish director Josef Fares.
at last, to "Kingdom of Sweden" I would like to say Thanks a lot for your great supports to appear this amazing film for us about that precious country on me!
What can i say. Joseph Fares has managed to capture on film the experience of what it meant to be Lebanese and to be in Lebanon during the war. Away from any and all politicization, away from the savagery and brutality the film is able to project the "Human" face of what anyone of us would go through given the circumstances. I left in 1989 as well, but i was one of the fortunate ones and my family remained safe. What Joseph and Zozo (actor) were able to produce together was beyond remarkable. Beauty indeed is found in simplicity, so is power. Carmen Lebbos who plays zozo's mother in this unfolding story is also able to bring the best of her game and i wouldn't be surprised if the film is able to capture more than one home run at the Oscars. Goodluck :) Hint: in Lebanon we call Joseph --> ZoZo :)
The plot is rather predictable and on the simplistic side, whether it's the accidental tragedy of Zozo's family, or his later cultural shock. The acting and cast are good. But I was especially spell bounded by the music and the photography of the film. The film looks low budget and didn't pretend to be otherwise. But it attempted to draw on its strength in the forgotten tragedy in Lebanon and the strong acting and cinematography. And movie succeeded for the most part IMHO. As I was watching the film, I couldn't help but thinking in the back of my head of the more recent tragedy in southern Lebanon, perhaps more death and destruction this time around? How many Zozo were created this time? Marx said that history repeats itself the first time is tragedy, the second time farce. To those who were unfortunate enough to be part of it, it always will be just tragedy.
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