Actress, producer, and ex-daytime television queen Oprah Winfrey made a post about Nadine Labaki’s Capharnaum on her Instagram page over the weekend. The Cecil B. Demille Award winner wrote that she couldn’t stop thinking about the movie and its young actors — praising the performances of the film’s lead (Zain Al Rafeea) and now infamous toddler (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole) — and lauded the film for its portrayal of real people and real traumas.
Winfrey commended on the film’s craftsmanship of a “beautiful and profound story,” hoping the film will get nominated for an Oscar following its Golden Globe nomination so that more people are exposed to Capharnaum and gain access to the movie.
Labaki responded with her own post thanking Oprah for the recognition of her work, expressing her belief in the power of cinema and art to spark conversations about important issues, such as poverty and disenfranchised children. The Caramel director also mentioned that, with the help of the UNHCR and UNICEF, the child actors have since been taken off the streets and sent to school but that there was still much work to be done with thousands of other children.
Oprah’s simple but powerful gesture has given Capharnaum momentum ahead of the closing of Oscar voting and is sure to get the film a few more crucial votes to score Lebanon’s second Oscar nomination.
The Academy Award nominees will be announced on January 22 at 3:00 PM in Lebanon.