Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Sensual, Touching and Sophisticated movie from Lebanon

Caramel (Original title Sukar Banat, 2007)

Director: Nadine Labaki
Script Writer: Rodney El Haddad, Jihad Hojeily, Nadine Labaki
Cast: Nadia Labaki (Layale), Yasmine Al masri (Nisrine), Joanna Moukarzel (Rima), Gisele Aouad (Jamale), Adel Karam (Youssef), Siham Haddad (Rose), Aziza Semaan (Lili), Fatme Safa (Siham),Dimitri Stancofski (Charles), Fadia Stella (Christine), Ismail Antar (Bassam).
Release Date: Premiered on March 20 during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
Genre: Drama
Country: Lebanon
Time: 95 min
Music: Mouzanar
Movies' Official website:

About the Movie: In the title of Caramel, Labaki refers to an epilation method used in the Middle east and North Africa to wax the body, using heated sugar, water and lemon juice.

"Caramel is the first feature from director-cum-actor Nadine Labaki, is a film about the lives and loves of six Lebanese women. As the title suggests, it's a sweet-natured romantic comedy, one centered on a Beirut beauty parlor, the three twentysomething women who work there and three somewhat-older ladies who are part of their circle.

"After setting the ambiance of the salon itself, each character becomes the center of her own story, all related to matters of the heart. The main character, Layale (Labaki) is struggling through an affair with a married man. Nisrine (Yasmine al-Masri), the film's designated Muslim character, is happily (evidently chastely) engaged but, as you eventually learn, is also worried because she isn't a virgin. Indifferent to men, Rima (Joanna Moukarzel) is beginning to awaken to her fondness for women, thanks to a customer (played by Fatme Safa) whose name is kept from you.

"One of the salon's incessant clients, Jamale (Gisele Aouad) is a fretfully aging mother trying to launch a career in television. The seamstress who lives near the salon, Rose (Sihame Haddad), has chosen spinsterhood in order to take care of her batty older sister Lili (Aziza Semaan). Herself a piece of romantic wreckage, Lili once had a relationship with a French soldier during the Mandate era, but all his letters were kept from her, so she wanders around the quarter collecting bits of paper as if trying to recover them.

"Rounding out the cast is a trio of male caricatures, love interests for each of the six women. The only man who is allotted some screen time (if not depth exactly) is Youssef (Adel Karam), an awkward, mustachioed cop who is particularly attentive in enforcing the law around Layale. [...]" Source: Jim Quilty, 'Caramel' delves into Lebanon's matters of the heart, The Daily Star (Lebanon), August 9, 2007

About the Director: Nadine Labaki, born in 1974, a well-known Lebanese acress and director. To know more about her: