Sunday 8th September 5:00 PM


We open this year with an amazing film that we couldn't get last season; nominated for Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for best Foreign Language Film and for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, we felt we had to give you a chance to see it.

The film follows a twelve-year-old boy, Zain, who is forced to wander the streets of Beirut trying to make a living where he can; he is one of the many thousands of unregistered children in Lebanon who have no access to schooling, medical care or travel documents. But this is no sad story or even a tear-jerker: Zain is fighting back. "As the film opens, [he] is in court, suing his neglectful parents for having given birth to him. The piercing child's eye view of his chaotic Beirut life, to which we flash back, suggests he has a case" - Kate Stables, Sight & Sound.

Filmed by award-winning Nadine Labaki using the real-life experiences of her non-professional cast, we feel a real anger at the plight of these kids (Using my first ever quote from the Bible, "And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades!"). The acting is superb - "Zain Al Rafeea (who was working as a delivery boy when cast) is simply excellent in the lead role. In a spiky, foul-mouthed performance, he gives Zain the wary, weary adult toughness of a youngster whose childhood has been stolen from him" - Kate Stables again.

An opener to enjoy, then, as a story, with acting to revel at; but also one to get us thinking...ready for what we hope is a great season ahead.


“breathtaking, topical, hilarious, tender and brutal.”

London Evening Standard

“A social-realist blockbuster - fired by furious compassion and teeming with sorrow, yet strewn with diamond-shards of beauty, wit and hope.”

Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph




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