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Qumra Projects

/ Feature Narrative / Lebanon, United States of America, Norway, Qatar / 2019 / Colour
In Arabic, English / Arabic, English subtitles
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.

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As the academic year draws to a close at a school high in the mountains of Lebanon, eleven-year-old Wissam struggles to pluck up the courage to reveal his true feelings to classmate Joanna. After numerous failed attempts, he is left despondent when led to believe that his best friend has betrayed his trust. To make matters worse, the day is suddenly interrupted when an air invasion reaches the capital, Beirut, and shatters the school’s calm. The imminent danger only makes Wissam even more resolute, as it becomes clear that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

This story of burgeoning love set against the backdrop of the blitz of Beirut in 1982 portrays that, even in conflict, life still goes on. For a dreamer like Wissam, it’s hard to immediately comprehend the gravity of the approaching violence, but for his teachers, Yesmine (Nadine Labaki) and Joseph (Rodrigue Sleiman), the jets roaring overhead are a sign of something much graver on the horizon. With extraordinary performances by all, the film perfectly captures the slow erosion of innocence, but one in which childlike imagination finds a way to triumph in the end.

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