Where do we go Now?, a Lebanese film with an interesting twist on social criticism is one of the stand out films of 2012 simply because it doesn’t play by the rules, and that’s why it succeeds in conveying its powerful message.
Tired of burying their deceased children, the women of a Lebanese community of Muslims and Christians struggle to keep the peace while violent religious conflicts persist outside the confines of their humble village.
Where do we go Now? is an interesting film as it comments on a very troubling social predicament in Lebanon using comedy…it’s a very tough mashup to grapple with but director Nadine Labaki does a bang up job of it. The conflict handled in the film is hardly new, the battle has been waged for an eternity and Labaki’s interpretation of the situation is an excellent deconstruction of the predicament, reducing it to an almost childlike quarrel amongst men that seem all too susceptible to the demons of revenge.
The message itself, like the plot, is a duality, both blunt in it’s message but carrying the sensitivity of a woman’s perspective. The primal nature of the conflict itself is remarkably complimented by humour that ranges from witty dialogue to outright slapstick – one scene has the women baking hashish muffins and getting all the men of the villiage high as kites; even funnier is the song that they perform while they’re doing the naughty deed!
The Bottom Line
Where do we go Now? isn’t the easiest film to watch but it has been thoughtfully written and has a powerful message (even if it is somewhat blunt). Thankfully the approach of using humour as a countermeasure to violence sells the film as one that stands out among the slew of emotionally solemn films that attempt to make a statement through controversy. This foreign film is enjoyable, on both the level of comedy and that of commentary…and that makes it something special.