Where Do We Go Now? • The Next Reel
"Even dead, they’re divided.”
Nadine Labaki started as an actress but starting in 2007 with Caramel, she started working as a writer/director. Her films look at life in Lebanon but through unique prisms that aren’t confined by the grim realities. In her 2011 film Where Do We Go Now?, Labaki uses a magical realist tone with musical elements to craft a story about the women in an isolated village working together to stop the men – divided by Christian and Muslim faiths – from constantly fighting. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our 10 Year Anniversary series with Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now?.
We clearly enjoy Where Do We Go Now? and have a lot to say about Labaki’s film.
This is a film that may work for some people and not others, but it worked for us. The story shines with magical realism, creating this isolated town where the news is sparse, allowing for the women to craft their own narrative essentially. That allows for a unique story, one that surprises as much as it delights.
The women of the town, led by Labaki playing Amal, keep trying ploy after ploy to stop the men, divided by religion, from fighting. Not all their plans work, but they’re always thinking and ready to try new things, even if that means hiring Ukranian exotic dancers for a week. That’s an area we struggled with a bit, but it still generally works. And with Labaki at the helm, this unique story feels cohesive.
The cinematography and music come together wonderfully in the musical elements. Could it have used more songs? Maybe. But we like it as-is and think it would have to be double its length to really include more songs. It works the way it is with just the few musical moments. They’re enough to remind us of the magic of this world
It’s a fun movie about a serious subject and allows for a unique vision of this community without saying that Labaki’s solved religious conflicts the world over by allowing women to be the ones driving the decisions. It’s a beautiful story of community and one that really surprised us with its warmth. Check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!
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