Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films


Ajyal Competition

Nadine Labaki / Feature Narrative / Lebanon / 2018 / 123 min / DCP
In Amharic, Arabic / English subtitles
Interests: Drama
MENA Premiere


‘Capharnaüm’ retraces the journey of 12-year-old Zain, who decides to sue his parents for having brought him into this world when they clearly can’t give him the care he so desperately needs. Void of even a minimal level of security and affection, Zain does his best to provide for his younger siblings and protect his beloved sister from the advances of a much older neighbour. Gutsy and streetwise, Zain flees one day to seek a life of his own and meets up with Ethiopian refugee Rahil and her baby son, Yonas.

Zain, however, has no documents and so in the legal sense, does not exist. His case is emblematic of a problem raised throughout the film – the legitimacy of a human being. Beautifully directed, Labaki delivers a remarkably rich coming of age story that shows the harsh and unforgiving reality of life for those on the fringes of society. Made with a cast of non-professionals brilliantly playing characters whose lives closely parallel those of the protagonists, ‘Capharnaüm’ is a resonating tale of a child who is punished by a system that never gave him a chance.

About the Directors

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese director, screenwriter, and actor. Her first feature, 'Caramel' (2007), premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and won the Youth Jury Award, as well as the Audience Award at San Sebastian Film Festival. 'Where Do We Go Now?' (2011), which she again wrote, directed and starred in, also premiered at Cannes Film Festival, It went on to win the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is Lebanon’s highest-grossing Arabic film to date. Her latest feature, ' Capharnaüm', won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and has been nominated to represent Lebanon for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Nadine Labaki
Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Kesrouani, in collaboration with Georges Khabbaz
Khaled Mouzanar, Michel Merkt
Konstantin Bock, Laure Gardette
Executive Producer
Akram Safa
Pierre Sarraf
Khaled Mouzanar
Christopher Aoun
Sales Company
Wild Bunch
Production Company
Mooz Films
Chadi Roukoz
Emmanuel Croset, Matthieu Tertois
Assistant Director
Toufic Khreich
Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawthar Al Haddad, Fadi Kamel Youssef, Cedra Izam, Alaa Chouchnieh, Nadine Labaki

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