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Aro Recommended Caramel

 

aka: Sukkar banat
Lebanon 2007, 92 minutes
Dir. Nadine Labaki
In French, Arabic with English subtitles
Genres: Foreign Cinema, Drama / Girl-centric, Romance

 

Aroview: Charming Lebanese soap opera with a social conscience, the latest in an emerging wave of dissenting Middle Eastern dramas divulges the stifled lives of six women living in Beirut who meet up at the local beauty salon to confide in each other their deepest dreams and desires.

Advancing the intimate secrets of each character with refreshing humour, empathy and sensitivity, writer-director-star Labaki's debut boldly critiques the constraints of male-dominated Muslim culture through themes of duty, sexuality, aging and adultery, without resorting to women-done-wrong reverse sexism. If occasionally bubbling over into sappy melodrama, this remains grounded in the poignant reality of complicated lives lived under stringent moral codes.

NZ International Film Festival 2008

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