Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Zozo - زوزو

Trailer for "Zozo"

This film is a Lebanese-Swedish movie, directed by the Lebanese-Swedish Joseph Fares. It's not the first to show the Lebanese civil war from children eyes (check for West Beirut, and In the Battlefields) but it shows how the war and its consequences follows a kid beyond the country's borders. So for a boy, once in Sweden, his life is not necessary easier than how it was back in a flaming Lebanon. In fact, I found that in this movie, Zozo's life in Lebanon was full (relatively) of joy, while when he arrived to Sweden it was reduced almost only to disappointments, some may think that it contradicts expectations, some my not share the same opinion, but either way, it was a beautiful way to present such a transition for a young child. In fact, it goes beyond to show how hard for an immigrant (young or old) to integrate into a foreign society (here the grandfather mark a good example).
From what I could've understand, the story is a fiction, but related somewhat to the director's life since he left Lebanon during the civil war when he was ten years old. Following Danielle Arbid and Ziad Doueiri's way to make peace with their past.
Globally the film was good, make fair use of special effects (I think that funding films in Sweden is easier than Lebanon). Actors were pretty good as well; Antoinette Turk's (playing Rita) acted nicely,
Imad Creidi's (as Zozo) role surprised me with his Swedish language and good performance for a child of his age. And then there is Carmen Lebbos, playing perfectly, as she always do, the mother role model.
The script was nicely written from a child eyes, things go smoothly. Though I should point to some minor flaws that come up when trying to see things rationally. For instance, how can a ten years old child go from east Beirut to the mountains (walking??!), then to the airport that easy in a city shredded into two parts? Then once in Sweden writing to Rita without having her address.
In the end I remind that this feature was the representative for Sweden for the 78th academy awards. It needs to be seen since it's a nicely done good movie.

Monday, October 8, 2007


"S.L.Film" Poster

So how many comedy Lebanese film you know. Till now, I know only one: S.L.Film, a long feature from the once popular TV show S.L.Shi. Unfortunately, in early 2000's, the show ended few years ago after closing the host TV station following some political conflict that time. The show consisted of short sketches caricaturing the Lebanese way of life. So the long feature came to combine all the known characters of the show into one consistent story. Many of the actors played more than one role, but the most notable acting was, with no doubt, Fadi Raaydi, who incarnated the role of both Fadia El-Sharreka and Pippo. The film is light, you wont stop laughing as long as the movie is showing, although it might require that you are aware of Lebanon's culture (and maybe the show). But you will be more than pleased in the end. The story is simple, the comedy is light, characters are lovely; in short, the best combination a comedy film can get.
Actually, the actors are working in some other similar kind of shows (you can consider them as a "fork" of S.L.Shi) or even talk-shows. Director Shadi Hanna is now directing some TV shows on Rotana TV, and music video clips.
I found that the film was a successful comedy experience, and a bit disapointed that no other comedy films have been produced since!

P.S. I'm launching a call joining the two others for anyone who have the trailer of this movie, as well as the original score and its music video (very funny one) to contact me.