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Caramel (Sukkar banat)

DFI Cinema

Nadine Labaki / Feature Narrative / France, Lebanon / 2007 / 95 min / Colour / 35mm
In Arabic, French / English subtitles
Interests: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rated: Mature subject matter. Not suitable for minors. Individuals under the age of 18 are not admitted into cinemas.



Nadine Labaki’s internationally acclaimed debut feature, ‘Caramel’ was instantly hailed on its release for depicting a contemporary Beirut that had seldom been seen on the big screen – not a tense, ravaged metropolis torn to shreds by a lengthy civil war, but rather one where citizens face mundane problems (like being stopped by the police for not wearing a seatbelt), alongside life’s rather larger issues.
Labaki herself plays Layale, one of three women working in a hectic beauty salon, all of whom are gamely dealing with some kind of trouble in the realm of love. This passionate trio is joined by two other, somewhat older women, and as we see these five lives intersect and overlap, we recognise that it is the bonds between them that buoy them through their tears and drive their frequent laughter.
Composer Khaled Mouzanar’s music soars as the wonderful, elegant backdrop for the film’s transitional passages, his sound cues indicating changes in mood, or introducing new characters or dilemmas. Labaki places moments of wry humour throughout the film and these are cleverly supported by Mouzanar’s whimsical Arabesque compositions – a sequence in which Layale prepares to indulge her jealousy of her lover’s wife using the depilatory caramel that gives the film its name is simply priceless.

About the Director

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese director and actor. Her studies at St. Joseph University in Beirut culminated with her graduation film ’11 rue Pasteur’ (1997), which which won the Best Short Film Award at the Biennale of Arab Cinema in Paris. Both of her award-winning feature-length films – ‘Caramel’ and ‘Where Do We Go Now?’ (2010) – have won popular and critical acclaim around the world, and stand out in Lebanese cinema for their consideration of women in contemporary Lebanese culture.


Nadine Labaki
Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Rodney Al Haddad
Anne-Dominique Toussaint
Khaled Mouzanar
Yves Sehnaoui
Sabbah Media Corporation
Nadine Labaki, Yasmine Al Masri, Joanna Moukarzel, Gisèle Aouad, Adel Karam

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