Costa Brava, Lebanon
Disaffected activists Soraya (Nadine Labaki) and Walid (Saleh Bakri) have made their home high in the hills, living off the grid, sheltering their two daughters from the madness of modern Beirut. Or so they imagine. One day they wake up to discover the government has annexed the land immediately adjoining their property; the olive trees are to be bulldozed for a landfill.
With novelistic acuity, Mounia Akl’s superbly-realised first feature chronicles how this nightmarish project exposes the rifts within the family, with the angry, stubborn Walid refusing to budge even as 17-year-old Tala crushes on the government’s handsome landscape architect. Psychologically nuanced and deftly observed, the movie slyly contrasts four ages of womanhood, while its portrait of Lebanon is simply devastating.
A stellar near-future family drama. Costa Brava, Lebanon comfortably occupies a space between Beasts of the Southern Wild from Honeyland.
A terrific feature debut from Mounia Akl which works both as a compelling domestic drama and an elegant political allegory.
Wendy Ide Screen International
Costa Brava, Lebanon acts as an environmental flick without making self-righteously grand statements. Akl’s title feels like a breath of fresh air…this is something uniquely special and a perfect, alluring example of all that is wrong with the world we’re living in.
Nadine Labaki, Saleh Bakri, Nadia Charbel, Ceana Restom, Geana Restom, Yumna Marwan
Lebanon / France / Spain / Sweden / Denmark / Norway / Qatar
In Arabic with English subtitles
Audience Award, BFI London Film Festival 2021; Grand Jury Award, Festival de Sevilla 2021; NETPAC Award, TIFF 2021
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