Directed by Nadine Labaki
Produced by Anne-Domminique Toussaint
Labaki's storyline is not based on a true story. Rather out of a personal response while observing a city in chaos when war broke out into a full-blown street-to-street combat fighting. Guns were used for killing, not as a scare tactic. Violence was the result of passion for a cause out of control. Labaki witnessed people who lived for years in the same building, who grew up together and attended the same schools, suddenly fighting each other because they didn't belong to the same religious community. Labaki wondered, if she had a son, would she be able to prevent him from automatically picking up a gun to defend his building, family or belief rather than a more civil way? Labaki's response is Where Do We Go Now?
Labaki's takes the opportunity to give irony, music and dance in her film as a survival strategy dealing with life's misfortunes. Labaki says, "Comedy or laughter along with the drama of life inspires appropriate human emotion--necessary for survival.”
Labaki begins her message in the film's opening scene. The women of the village, both young and old, dressed in black, march to a unified cadence from the village cemetery to the village center square. Their countenance is sullen, taking time to mourn together as Christian and Muslim patriots for the latest fallen male. The village women show solidarity in this one observance because it is allowed. The women, both Christian and Muslim take advantage of the opportunity to show true friendship with non-verbal movement. They need each other in spite of the uncomfortable circumstances work to find a way to unite.
Villagers from a remote mountainous area suffer from ongoing feuds over irreconcilable differences each holding staunchly to their Christian and Muslim faith. The villagers have been divided as a community over religious beliefs and practices for decades. The men are proud of allowing a freedom of religion to exist among the tight knit community. The women are tired of suffering the consequences of their male counterparts’ stubbornness. The sacrifices are too great and getting worse. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall says The Holy Bible (Proverbs 16:18). Yep! The pride of the village men are literally getting them killed. The male casualties for both the Christian and Muslim villagers are more than anyone of them cares to admit. So they don't!
The men of village are vanishing too quickly. The women of the village are tired of being in the middle of controversy. Their friendships are threatened while death knocks on their door every day from the disputes and disruptions of their daily life.
Russian strippers come to the village for food and shelter waiting for repairs to be made on their traveling vehicle. The village men are more than happy to oblige. The village women cease an opportunity to put the men in their place in hope to force them to make a religious truce for all to live in peace.
The village women hire the strippers to assist in prank-like activity. The women use their sense of humor as their key weapon and trust that their sons, husbands and fathers learn more than to underestimate their women folk.
Sundance 2012 Critic's Choice Movie Award Nominee
Best Foreign Language Film