Following last year’s historic nomination of The Insult, Lebanon continued to make headlines in global film circles when director Nadine Labaki’s Capharnaum won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival. Further acclaim followed when the film scored nominations for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critic’s Choice nods for Best Foreign Language Film (despite losing to Netflix juggernaut Roma in the former two). With so much industry support, Lebanon went in to today’s nominations with a relatively strong chance of scoring a nomination and, sure enough, The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjianai and actress Tracy Ellis Ross announced that Capharnaum had scored Lebanon’s second, consecutive nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, marking yet another huge victory for Lebanese cinema.
The film is a social-realist film that follows Zain, a young boy living in conditions of extreme poverty in Lebanon, who sues his parents for giving birth to him. While not immune to criticism, the film is an astounding feat by well-known director Labaki, whose love and passion for Zain’s story — as well as her genuine care/concern for impoverished children and refugees — is evident on the screen and infuses each image with emotional intensity.
With such an important message at its core, this nomination serves as an important reminder of the struggles children face all over the globe as a result of war and inequality. Actress, talk-show host, and producer Oprah Winfrey expressed her love for the film, praising it in an instagram post where she hoped that it would become nominated for an Oscar — a wish that has now been fulfilled.
This is an incredible honour, and we extend our congratulations to Nadine Labaki and her team on the achievement. As one of the few films directed by women receiving recognition this awards season, we wish Capharnaum the very best at the Oscars.