Women Living True to their Spirit – Nadine Labaki

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese actor and director whose latest film, Capernaum (meaning confusion or chaos in Arabic), won the jury prize at the 2018 Cannes film festival and was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA.

She is the first female Arab director to ever be nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

You may also know Nadine from her earlier critically acclaimed movie ‘Caramel’ (distributed in over 40 countries) and also was nominated for an Oscar – it’s a dark comedy that revolves around the intersecting lives of five Lebanese women. The story focuses on the women dealing with issues such as forbidden love, binding traditions, repressed sexuality, the struggle to accept the natural process of age, and duty versus desire.

Nadine was born in Lebanon and the first seventeen years of her life was spent living in a war-torn environment, until 1991 when the civil war in Lebanon had ended.

Nadine obtained her degree in audiovisual studies at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. In 1997, she directed her graduation film ‘11 Rue Pasteur’ which won the Best Short Film Award at the Biennale of Arab Cinema at the Arab World Institute in Paris. She is unique among her fellow Lebanese and Arab Film Makers in that she was not educated or trained abroad.

‘I really believe cinema can effect social change’

Labaki’s style of cinematography uses silence to help convey the meaning in her films. Through her films, Nadine Labaki connects themes from the Arab world and the Western world. Her transnational feminism highlights ordinary women affected by complex realities deeply rooted in decades of political turmoil. Despite the often dangerous political situations Labaki continues to write and direct films that do not focus on conflict.

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