Capernaum | Chicago Reader


Shot over six months, Capernaum is documentary in feel, based on years of research and interviews Labaki and her collaborators conducted with refugees and neglected, abandoned, and/or incarcerated minors. It offers an immediacy and authenticity that would not have been possible without its nonprofessional performers improvising versions of their own experiences. In this story of an abused street child who sues his monstrous parents for bringing him into the world, no one is more compelling than Zain Al Rafeea, the youngster who plays the protagonist (also named Zain), a real-life refugee from Syria's civil war who was only 12 years old and barely literate when the director met him. He is also small for his age, a result of malnutrition; with haunted eyes and a stunted frame, he's every inch the heartbreaking urchin. CONTINUE READING



  • Nadine Labaki


  • Zain AlRafeea
  • Yordanos Shiferaw
  • Boluwatife Treasure Bankole
  • Kawthar AlHaddad
  • Fadi Kamel Youssef
  • Cedra Izam
  • Alaa Chouchnieh
  • Elias Khoury
  • Nadine Labaki
  • Nour ElHusseini
  • Joseph Jimbazian
  • Samira Chalhoub
  • Farah Hasno
  • Joe Maalouf
  • Alexandre Youakim
  • Michele Sedad
  • Rahaf ElRazek
  • Farah Kanjo
  • Mirna Izzam
  • Riman AlRafeea


  • Georges Khabbaz
  • Jihad Hojeily
  • Khaled Mouzanar
  • Michelle Keserwany
  • Nadine Labaki


  • Anne-Dominique Toussaint
  • Ayla Rizk
  • Candice Abela
  • Chady Eli Mattar
  • Danny Glover
  • Fouad Mikati
  • Jason Kliot
  • Joana Vicente
  • Joslyn Barnes
  • Khaled Mouzanar
  • Michel Merkt
  • Pierre Sarraf
  • Ray Barakat
  • Samer Rizk
  • Susan Rockefeller
  • Sylvio Sharif Tabet
  • Wissam Smayra

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