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Before Dawn charts the years of exile in the life of famous Jewish Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, his inner struggle for the "right attitude" toward the events in war torn Europe, and his search for a new home.
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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 scene where Antoinette says "My Ass is a dictionary" was censored in UAE theaters as local censorship authorities deemed this offensive only when spoken in Arabic. Had the film been in English, the scene would have stayed as is. See more »
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.
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Where Do We Go Now by the Lebanese-Canadian director Nadine Labike is set in a war-torn village in Lebanon. The backdrop of the movie is the Christian-Muslim conflict plaguing the region at large, and its effect on the mixed population of the village dwellers. The comedy-drama focuses on a group of women and their antics to keep the men off each other's throats. It starts off in an almost utopian setting, with the view of the village mosque and church at dusk in a single frame, symbolizing the ideal of peaceful existence between the Christians and Muslims.
The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the people's choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Nadine, who also acts in the film, may be accused by some quarters of trivializing the conflict between the Abrahamic faiths with her comic take on religion, complete with a climax reminiscent of a Cheech and Chong flick. However, the tone of the film remains somber throughout, and the viewer is often reminded of the toll of the conflict on both sides of the religious divide, with glimpses of intermittent sectarian strife.
The intelligent dialogue, interspersed with repartee between the female characters is refreshingly entertaining, offering a peek inside the (mostly) segregated Arab society and humanizing a population segment often portrayed as meek and subservient to the other sex.
Nadine's second directorial venture after Caramel continues to court controversy, with an ending which Labaki acknowledges might "raise a lot of polemics. It might upset people who are a bit fanatic or too conservative..." By the end of the film, Nadine is sure to rouse some thought-provoking questions in the viewers mind, fulfilling the obligation to her craft and pushing the envelope. Where Do We Go Now has been chosen as the Lebanon's 2011 entry in the best foreign language film category for the Academy Awards.
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