The protagonist of this drama from co-writer/director Nadine Labaki (Caramel, DFF30) is the distinctly un-childlike Zain, who has experienced more in his 12 years on earth than most people do in a lifetime. His parents, having been ground down by years of poverty, are deeply neglectful at best and abusive at worst, prepared to do anything for a few pounds or a bit of food. In a particularly memorable sequence, they soak clothes in Tramadol, then deliver the garments to prison inmates, who wring them out for liquid drugs.
When they sell Zain’s beloved younger sister to an adult man for a few chickens, he’s had enough and sets out on his own. But navigating the streets of Beirut isn’t easy, and when the furious, foul-mouthed kid (played for anger, not laughs) finds himself in increasingly brutal circumstances, he attempts to hold his parents accountable by suing them for bringing him into a world in which they are completely unable to provide for him.
SUBTITLED (Foreign language with on-screen subtitles)
Producer: Michel Merkt, Khaled Mouzanar | Editor: Konstantin Bock, Laura Gardette | Cinematographer: Christopher Aoun | Screenwriter: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Keserwany
Cast: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawthar Al Haddad