Capernaum

This was running for about 2 months in Berlin cinemas, but I didn’t find the plotline (12 year old sues his parents because he didn’t ask to be born) very enticing.

Then it opened in Britain and all sorts of people (not least Lisa Hallgarten) wrote rave reviews but by then it had been shifted to the Sunday luchtime slot, when i usually have other stuff to do.

So, I’m late coming to this, but boy was I unprepared. As said, the trailer wasn’t very informative so, having not read much else about it, I was expecting a relaxing sunday afternoon film.

But boy is it grim, unremittingly so. If you’re after tales of enforced child criminality and serious neglect and the sale of young girls with fatal consequences, you’re in the right place. It was all compelling and harrowing, but it did take me a while to adjust to exactly what it was I was watching

In addition, it is so beautifully shot – with tremendous use of the colours of downtown Beirut that you find yourself simultaneously entranced by the landscape and sickened by the hellish conditions that are being reenacted in front of you.

Also most of the child actors were amateurs, yet somehow managed to be much more poignant than any stage school brat.

Well worth a look, but not necessarily on a first date

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