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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.
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart
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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 first film ever to be jointly released in the Middle East and North Africa by 3 competing companies: Front Row Filmed Entertainment, The Kuwait National Cinema Company and Empire International. 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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The storyline on this wonderful small film shot in Lebanon and other locations, is that the women of this part of the middle east are just fed up with the senseless death of their sons, brothers and fathers, due to religious sectarianism. The steps they go to, to end this insanity are wonderfully funny, and very much to the point of what is needed to break the cycle of violence.
The script is a gem. The team of writers, including director and co-star Nadine Labaki, is just great. It pulls us from comedy through tenderness and tragedy. The acting troupe is very good, very believable. It seems to be shot on location, sets are real enough to make you believe you are there.
The cinematography is great, really showing the town as it is, and placing you very much in the middle of the scenes. Nice lighting, color balance is warm and soft, giving a very homey look to the locations.
It's all too seldom that we who are not in the middle of a internal civil war such as this get to see a window into the world that is trying to hang on to it's sanity, not yet having fallen over the precipice into full scale chaos.
This is a very wonderful, funny, and poignant window into that world, told by people who are very close to the real situation. It could not have been invented by a California filmmaker.
It falls into the classes of films like "The Debt" and "of Gods and Men", stories of middle eastern conflict that are not set pieces, or play to western stereotypes of what is happening there, though it is much 'lighter' and less of a drama than those. This has much more light hearted nature than those films.
9 stars out of ten, for wonderful original storyline, wonderful unknown cast, good acting, great cinematography, nice weaving of humour and pathos, contemporary story, without being trite, solid editing. Also just a good movie, beyond all the technical nonsense.
So if you have read this far, saw those other films, and liked them, you likely will like this better. Again, hard to imagine you will be disappointed in this gem.
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