Fifth about The Seventh

Capernaum (Capharnaüm)

Capernaum: Nadine Labaki serves a solid punch to the gut with this realistic drama; it’s a story about a world where inflicting misery seems to be addicting, or at least nearly invincible as a concept. It’s a heartbreaking film, but it gets to be a bit overlong, as the narrative at moments chooses to dig deeper into the suffering instead of advancing the story. The main character, a young boy hardened and wizened beyond his years but still carrying an almost incomprehensible good heart is well defended by young Zain Al Rafeea. But it’s the even younger Boluwatife Treasure Bankole that leaves a lasting mark, adorable and incredibly convincing as the toddler. Acting is for the most part very low-key. The handheld camerawork of Christopher Aoun is up close, mobile, active; it feels right for the story and setting. Konstantin Bock and Laure Gardette’s editing allows the film to drag at spots.

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