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Where Do We Go Now? (2011)
"Et maintenant on va où?" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,826 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 36 user | 109 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village.

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, (collaboration), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claude Baz Moussawbaa ...
Leyla Hakim ...
Afaf (as Layla Hakim)
...
Amale
Yvonne Maalouf ...
Yvonne
Antoinette Noufaily ...
Saydeh
Julian Farhat ...
Rabih
Ali Haidar ...
Roukoz
Kevin Abboud ...
Nassim
Petra Saghbini ...
Rita
Mostafa Al Sakka ...
Hammoudi
Sasseen Kawzally ...
Issam
Caroline Labaki ...
Aïda
Anjo Rihane ...
Fatmeh
Mohammad Aqil ...
Abou Ahmad (as Mohammad Akil)
Gisèle Smeden ...
Gisèle
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Storyline

Christians and Muslims lived peacefully together for years in this small Lebanese village, but animosities begin to build among the men as a result of slights and misunderstandings. The women of the village conspire to avert sectarian strife though a series of harebrained plans, none of which succeeds in slowing down the escalating spiral of violence. When tragedy strikes, the women find themselves driven to make a deeply personal sacrifice for the sake of peace. Written by The Oddball

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic drug material, some sensuality and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 September 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Et maintenant on va où?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,382 (USA) (11 May 2012)

Gross:

$531,813 (USA) (7 September 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lebanon's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Amale: [narrating] The story I tell is for all who want to hear. A tale of those who fast, a tale of those who pray, a tale of a lonely town, mines scattered all around. Caught up in a war, split to its very core. To clans with broken hearts under a burning sun. Their hands stained with blood in the name of a cross or a crescent. From this lonely place, which has chosen peace, whose history is spun of barbed wire and guns.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fokus på Film fra Sør (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Kifou Hal Helou
Written by Khaled Mouzanar
Performed by Khaled Mouzanar, Mouzanar, Nadine Labaki & Julian Farhat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beyond brilliant
21 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

Lebanese cinematic talent has not been given much room to grow. In a country where art is the least concern, cinema has found it especially hard to take off. However, a stream of Lebanese movies has been finding its way to our theaters. Some like Nadine Labaki's previous movie, Caramel, were a huge hit with viewers. Others were not as lucky. But the fact remains that the Lebanese audience is hungry for movies that describe its society, its problems, its worries and woes.

And then comes Nadine Labaki's new movie: Where Do We Go Now, with its Lebanese title: W Halla2 La wein (also in French: Et Maintenant, On Va Ou?) The premise of the movie is quite simple – and for many Lebanese, worry-inducing for fear of overuse of clichés. The overall basis of the plot is the coexistence of Lebanese Muslims and Christians in one community, sometimes peacefully and other times not. Many, like yours truly, felt the issue was overdone. Maybe not in cinema but in everyday life. Most of us are sick of being bombarded with commentary about the struggles that face our very diverse community. But this is not the case in Where Do We Go Now.

An unnamed village during the later part of the 20th century has its only connection with the outside world in the form of a very rudimentary bridge, around which land-mines had been planted and never removed. Even TV reception is very poor to the village and the movie begins with a few youngsters searching for a broadcast signal to set up a TV night for the town-folks. This village is also a religiously divided community where the Church and the Mosque are only a house apart. And more often than not, the people live together happily. But as it is, and despite barely having any access to news from the outside world, the men of this village start to confront each other in violent ways. Little things that would pass unnoticed cause them to explode, signaling the anger they've been bottling in. And it is then that the few women of the village start to devise plots to keep the men busy, entertained and get their minds off being violent. These plans will vary from fake miracles to putting hashish in cakes. But these women will go to every measure possible and break every limit imposed on them by society to keep their town together. And it is for these women, representing a vast majority of our Lebanese mothers, that this movie is so aptly dedicated.

Nadine Labaki, director of the movie and starring as Amal, is astonishing as always. You, really, cannot see her eyes on screen and not be mesmerized. She's simply entrancing, even when she doesn't speak. Then how about when she delivers a tour de force performance as one of those women, who happens to be in love with a man from the town's other religion. But to be perfectly honest, the accolades one ought to give Labaki are not for her acting but for her directing. Never have I imagined a Lebanese movie can turn out this good and she makes it seem effortless. Her camera shots, her focus on details, her keen eye… all of this combine to give you a cinematic experience that will entrance you. This movie, like Caramel, features mostly unknown faces and all of them deliver as well. It is hard to believe – and yet in retrospect so evident – that such acting can come out of common people that we all meet on the street.

Where Do We Go Now is a movie of such epic proportions that these "unknown" actors and actresses (mostly actresses) deliver performances that are so subtly nuanced, so exquisitely flavored and so astonishingly well-done that they would put the best actresses and actors of Hollywood to shame. Yes, I have said it. The score of the movie is chilling and haunting and wonderfully executed by Nadine's husband Khaled Mouzanar. The movie also features a few highly intelligent songs, written by Tania Saleh. And let's talk about the script. What an ingenious way to tackle the subject at hand. Not only did Nadine Labaki not fall to any cliché known to us as a Lebanese community, but she managed to introduce them in a subtle comical way that would make us laugh at ourselves for uttering or doing them in the first place.

The script is so strong it will turn you bipolar. Yes, lithium is advised to be taken at the door while going in. Why? Never have I laughed so hysterically one moment and just wanted to cry the other. And then after being utterly devastated, it brings you back to laughter. The movie plays with you like a ping pong ball. And you cannot but love every moment of it.

I was talking to my friend the day before we went to watch Where Do We Go Now, which happened to be the day it won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, and she said: "I'm very cautiously optimistic about this. I'm not letting my expectations overreach because I don't want to be disappointed." Well, I'm pretty sure she agrees with me on this: Where Do We Go Now brings out things in you that you didn't even know you had. It brings out the best in you, as a Lebanese, sitting in that cinema chair for ninety minutes. And you need the best of the best to do that. Nadine Labaki, you deserve more than the few minutes of applause the people in the movie theater gave you. You deserve a full blown standing ovation. You have done the impossible. Again. Lebanese cinema has no excuse but to overreach for excellence now. And this movie deserves an Oscar win. Cheers to our mothers.


38 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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