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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and touching
"Where Do We Go Now?" (2011 release from Lebanon; 100 min.) brings the fictitious story of an isolated village in Lebanon where Christians and Muslims, tired of the endless and senseless killing of/by the Christian and Muslim men, are living together more or less in peace. The opening scenes show the village women, both Christian and Muslim, marching together towards the...
Published on May 21, 2012 by Paul Allaer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit boring. Interesting story and setting though
I found this movie quite slow going. A bit boring. Interesting story and setting though.
Published 1 month ago by Gabriel R


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and touching, May 21, 2012
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
"Where Do We Go Now?" (2011 release from Lebanon; 100 min.) brings the fictitious story of an isolated village in Lebanon where Christians and Muslims, tired of the endless and senseless killing of/by the Christian and Muslim men, are living together more or less in peace. The opening scenes show the village women, both Christian and Muslim, marching together towards the cemetery where they put down pictures of their fallen husbands, sons and other male family members.

But the peace is threatened at times, not just by petty local events such as the strange disappearance of shoes from the mosque, but more so by watching the news on the one working television in the village, showing increased tension between Muslims and Christians. The women in the village decide that they need to ease the tension by whatever means possible. To say much more of the plot would be to ruin the viewing experience of this movie, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

This is a beautiful and touching movie. Props first of all to Nadine Labaki, the director/co-writer/star of the movie (she plays one of the key women roles). It wasn't until the movie's credits roled that I realized that Labaki was one of the main performers in the movie. While at times there is a light tone to the movie, we are quickly reminded of the absurd nature of the long-held mistrust between people from different religions. I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. If you are looking for a sophisticated yet entertaining foreign movie, by all means check this out. "Where Do We Go Now?" is highly recommended!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films describing the fundemental problem of the Lebanese society, June 18, 2012
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
One of the best films describing the fundemental problem of the Lebanese society. Nadine Labki has a long standing passion in bringing up the issues and topics that are considered as a "hot potato" topics in Lebanon.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in humanity, December 15, 2011
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
A very imaginative way of treating the subject of religious differences in a war torn society. It is funny, entertaining, human, makes you cry and makes you laugh at the absurdity of separatism!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The story I tell is for all who want to hear...", October 2, 2012
By 
Matthew G. Sherwin (last seen screaming at Amazon customer service) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
Where Do We Go Now is several things at once: a drama; a comedy; a musical of sorts; a slice of life in a troubled village and a commentary on life in general, at least in Lebanon and other countries nearby. It succeeds very well! True, once or twice things changed too quickly from drama to comedy or music; but this is a minor quibble. The plot moves along at a good pace and I was glued to the screen to see how everything would play out. The acting is superlative; although the actors are not highly seasoned professionals they give nuanced, convincing and passionate performances. The choreography and the cinematography work well and the musical score enhances the film, too.

When the action starts, we meet quite a few people in a Lebanese village isolated because the only bridge to it is badly damaged and needs repair; traveling too far from the village is also dangerous because of land mines. The villagers are hemmed in. Fortunately, there is peace between the Christian and Muslim members of the community; their houses of worship are almost side by side--there's just one house between the mosque and the church. People are also very excited that a few teenagers found a way to hook up a television; now they can watch programs including the news.

It isn't long, however, before pent up tensions begin to surface. At first it's just a comment here and there; but things deteriorate. Once the villagers see on television is that there is fighting on the outside between Muslims and Christians, the Muslim and Christian men in the village begin to fight and the women oppose the violence. Things begin to spiral out of control after Muslims suspect that Christians put goats in their Mosque and stole their shoes while they were praying inside the mosque; and Christians are appalled and angered when a Muslim man smashes their statue of the Virgin Mary and they discover chicken blood in the font to mock their Communion.

The religious leaders want peace but it is the women who really struggle to make it happen. The women hire Ukrainian belly dancers to distract the men and put hashish in baked goods to make the men mellow! There's more, too, including a huge plot twist at the end of the film that left quite an impression on me.

Look for superb performances by director Nadine Labaki who plays Amale, a Christian woman in love with Muslim Rabih (Julian Farhat); Kevin Abboud as Nassim; Petra Saghbini as Rita; Caroline Labaki as Aïda; Yvonne Maalouf as Yvonne; Claude Baz Moussawbaa as Takla; Ali Haidar as Roukoz; Oxana Chihane as Katia and Leyla Hakim as Afaf. As I mentioned above, the others give wonderful performances, too.

Where Do We Go Now is a poignant look at life in a troubled Lebanese village and how it can be so hard to achieve peace between warring groups, in this case Christians and Muslims. I highly recommend this film for people who like drama with cultural, social and political themes with a side dish of comedy and even some music to lighten things up. Moreover, people who appreciate the work of Nadine Labaki will not be disappointed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully produced, June 13, 2012
By 
Rukaya Al Zayani (East Riffa, Bahrain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
This is one of my favorite movies. Nadine Labaki portrays a very interesting story about sectarianism and reconciliation and that is something almost the whole MENA region is going through, especially with the current developments aka Arab Spring. The actors in the movie were being themselves, hence, no over-acting which added up to the movie being awesome. I heard Nadine picked the amature actors based on their personality and that the real life personality is similar to the one in the story and in which the actors portrayed the characters beautifully.
The setting is great and so is the production. Oh, I should mention the music as well. Khaled's compositions are just so delightful to the ears. Just watch the goddamn movie, okay?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanity is growing up., December 31, 2012
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
To call this film brilliant would be a understatement. Most of the comments focus on the film per say. The message it conveys IS its brilliant accomplishment. Once the entertaining part wares off you are left with a almost subliminal (likely of political necessity) message. "Where do we go now" sums it up. Indeed the answer is deliberately non existent. It does bring to the foreground of the concept and the idiocy of 5000 plus years of mysticism, and as such, it could have not been more timely. The answer is that humanity desperately needs to grow UP from this mystic frame of mind. The combination of 21st. century military technology and the psychopathic religious AND political mentality presents a existential threat to humanity.
My research on the director (Nadine Labaki) was a delightful revelation of how much the world have changed. I visited Lebanon in the late 60, and it was then a peaceful but backward country. To see that the higher education system in this war thorn country can produce some one like Nadine Labaki was a pleasant surprise.
YES the film is well made, funny, very entertaining, but so are many other films. It is the philosophy behind it that makes me regret that the rating system does not allow me to rate it more than 5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, July 16, 2012
By 
This review is from: Where Do We Go Now? (DVD)
I loved the characters, the music, the story and the filming - it was really a treat for me when I watched it at the cinema with friends. It was laughter and tears, and I enjoyed how the women outsmarted the men to prevent an outbreak of violence and the solidarity between the women. I will most likely watch this film again. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lebanese, Christian and Muslim Tragi- Comedy that is just superb., November 29, 2012
This is a French made film that was originally released as `Et maintenant on va où? It is set in a remote Lebanese village. Christians and Muslims live side by side in an unsteady truce. The village lacks for most modern conveniences, such as television, or links with the outside. So some of the enterprising young men rig up a satellite dish to try to be able to get a signal, of sorts. Then news of outside events start to filter in, and the villagers realise that religious war has broken out all around them. The women folk though have seen enough death through stupid intolerance and they decide that they have collectively had enough and decide to do what ever it takes to stop their men from fighting each other.

So they start by enlisting the help of both the Priest and the Imam in the on coming subterfuge. But then one act of sabotage set the men off on a tit for tat in fight that looks like snow balling out of control. The women will invent miracles, use drugs and even get the `ladies' from the gentleman's club, known as `The Paradise Palace' to entertain their men into not fighting, the question is, will it work?

This is an absolute gem of a film, it is a tragi- comedy as it is both heart breaking and sombre in places. The humour is never far from the surface though and makes this feel like a breath of fresh air. There is also a love interest between a Christian and Muslim that although it may look contrived as a message for unity, it is actually used more as a vehicle for showing why people sometimes fail to get on. It has good sub titles and is in Arabic, Russian and some English. There are only excellent performances here and a warmth that takes you in from the very start. It is a film I knew very little about, but is one that should have got a lot more attention. This is for lovers of World cinema and those who like things very original very funny and very moving - absolutely recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) Featuring beautiful cinematography and a unique storyline, "Where Do We Go Now?" is recommended!, December 1, 2012
From Lebanese director Nadine Labaki ("Caramel", "Bosta", "The Smallest Red Carpet, But the Biggest Heart") comes her whimsical comedy about women of a village wanting to make a difference when their husbands of Christian or Muslim faith are fighting with each other.

The film was inspired by Nadine's experience in Lebanon in war after two decades of peace and two opposing political parties moving towards war. As an expecting mother, Nadine saw neighbors and friends turn to enemies because they belonged to opposing religious groups. And so, she thought about her son and what kind of world he would see when he was born. Would he be like everyone else who engaged in war? As a mother, she thought about wanting to keep her son out of war and with the film, it developed from being one woman to a village of women who would do all they can to keep their son's from engaging in war.

The film premiered as part of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival's "Un Certain Regard" and won a "Cadillac People's Choice Award" at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

VIDEO:

"Where Do We Go Now?" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1). Picture quality for the film is beautiful. Cinematography by Christophe Offenstein ("Tell No One", "Little White Lies", "Whatever You Say") is warm, colorful and there is amazing details when it comes to the close-ups. Wide shots are also breathtaking. I didn't detect any scratches, dust or any problems while viewing the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

"Where Do We Go Now?" is presented in Arabic 5.0 DTS-HD MA. Lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and music. While the film is primarily center and front-channel driven, there are moments where ambiance of surroundings can be heard through the surround channels. Especially during the more action-paced scenes. Also, the film has a wonderful musical score by Composer Khaled Mouzanar .

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES

"Where Do We Go Now?" comes with the following special features:

Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by Director Nadine Labaki and Composer Khaled Mouzannar
An Evening with Writer/Director/Actress Nadine Labaki, Composer Khaled Mouzanar and Producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint - (39:11) Director and actress Nadine Labaki explains what inspired her to create this film and we learn about the production, music of the film and more.
The Making of Where Do We Go Now? - (18:16) - Behind-the-scenes of the making of the film.
Where Do We Go Now?: Making the Music - (12:16) A featurette on composer Khaled Mouzanar and the making of the music for the film.

JUDGMENT CALL:

Nadine Labaki takes one of the most complex situations that has affected various regions of the world for centuries and tries to find a silver lining through comedy and understanding. But also with hope.

May it be in Lebanon or another country, there religious differences between Christians and Muslims are serious and what makes Labaki's film so fascinating is the fact that the village featured, is not affected by media, television, newspapers or Internet.

Sure, when they try to introduce television to the masses, surely things start to unravel. There is a scene in which the village, which have co-existed and have remained peaceful, begin watching a newscast that details the ongoing fight between Christian and Muslims and it makes you wonder if that was the intention of Labaki. To show that religious disagreements are possibly heightened by media.

But watching the film, we see how people do try to make an effort for peace, to not quickly blame the other religion for problems. But when things get out of hand, the women take charge. The film was also quite fascinating because it was born out of Nadine Labaki's experience in Lebanon and wondering how she can keep her son growing up in a world with hostilities. Facing the absurdity of the conflicts and with her experience, it's an experience that other women share, not wanting their husbands and sons being killed in war. So, the women decide to take action.

This is very intriguing because we often read in newspapers of how women do not have a voice in the Middle East. Labaki's "Where Do We Go Now?" is a film that if the men are the cause of these religious disagreements and can not find peace with one another, perhaps the women of both religions can join forces and nullify these hostilities.

They try to find ways to do it in the film, granted the hiring of dancers and using sex as a way to calming people down can only go so far. But there is a message in the film. That women in leadership positions or women who can be empowered, can make a big difference. The film is not about finding solutions as this turmoil has been ongoing for centuries, but what Labaki was able to create, was a film that although not seen as complete feminism, but belief and hope that women can and will make a difference, if they work together, rally together and believe that they can make a change.

As for the Blu-ray release, the cinematography is beautiful and the picture quality is fantastic. Lossless audio is appropriate and you also get a good amount of special features included.

While the film has a good blend of comedy and even music-driven scenes, some may find the blend of comedy and melodrama to be a bit jarring. Personally, not only do I see it as progressive, I see it as a film that possibly can inspire or add hope to many women.

But I do admit that the film is quite problematic when you try to balance comedy and melodrama. With something as tense as Christian and Muslim relations, when people are killed, comedy is not a way to diffuse the situation. But Labaki does try and accomplishes in sending out a message that women in various countries can possibly make a difference.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter and tears, January 3, 2013
By 
tania "A some time listener." (Atlanta, GA, United States) - See all my reviews
A darkish comedy about the plight of a Lebanese village where all is peaceful until they bring a TV in and mayhem ensues. I laughed and cried by turns. The reality of this country makes this situation, while outlandish in many ways, true. Rather, their are many truths hidden in the comedy. It's a must-watch.
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Where Do We Go Now?
Where Do We Go Now? by Nadine Labaki (DVD - 2012)
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