Caramel – A Lebanese View on Life

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Caramel (Sukkar Banat), is the first feature film by Lebanese director Nadine LabakiIt is the first Lebanese movie to sell distribution rights of the film to more than 40 countries (US among them).

In the title of Caramel, Nadine refers to an epilation method used in the Middle East that consists of heating sugar, water and lemon juice. She tries as well to refer to the "idea of sweet and salt, sweet and sour". Labaky paints a picture so vivid and alive with different colors and scents that one easily drops head over into the lives of these women. A lovely little comedy-drama set around a Beirut beauty parlor where delicious, gooey caramel is cooked up for waxing legs. Owner Layal (first-time director Labaki) is a Christian in a hopeless relationship with a married man; Muslim colleague Nisrine doesn’t want her fiancé to know she’s not a virgin; shy salon hair-washer Rima finds herself drawn to a female client; middle-aged regular Jamal wants to be an actress and 65-year-old neighbor Rose has forgone marriage to care for her older sister. Playing out wryly in the movie’s warm, golden-brown tones, these five threads weave a poignant portrait of women muddling through the uncertainties of a culture caught between the modern and the traditional. that has been released last August in Lebanon. The film premiered on March 20th during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, in the Directors’ Fortnight section. The film ran for the Caméra d’Or during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Caramel was screened during the Cairo Film Festival and received a special mention for the refined craftsmanship and sensitive ensemble of acting.
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