There comes a time when people see things in their society that surrounds them and they identify a change that needs to be implemented. To make a change though, may not be a conventional way within that society. Director Nadine Labaki takes the helm of Where Do We Go Now (original title – Et maintenant on va où?), the entertaining film she has written along with Rodney Al Haddid, Thomas Bidegain (collaboration), Jihad Hojeily and Sam Mounier and takes the viewer on a journey with the women of a remote village who unite for peace among those who observe different faiths. The ones who are not united are the men and the women have had enough of so much loss.
There is plenty of drama within village in this script and the women find ways to try to keep the peace. It is hysterical what they decide to resort to, so it is quite a surprise to me in watching how the ladies network with each other to get the mission accomplished. I am very pleased to learn how talented the actresses are who are good in their range of drama to humor.
The women are clever with ideas they think the men will buy into, including faking a miracle. Of course, it only lasts so long before another reason is found to get into a knock down drag out fight, at times so violent it leads to death. Tired of holding funerals, the town women decide to hire a troop of Ukrainian strippers to stay in their village. Unsure at first, the spiked food the men dine on helps to mellow them out. There are so many scenes that are comedic because they are universal. The 100 minute film flies by as the viewer watches a serious subject treated delicately, but with humor that can’t be passed up.
It is rated PG-13 for thematic drug material, some sensuality and violent images but it totally entertaining and has been a success since last year. Where Do We Go Now has screened just about all over the world in film festivals. Starting with the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Labaki won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention; at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film received the People’s Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature; at the Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival, it won the Audience Award for Best European Film. It went on among other countries, prior to coming to the USA for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the New Directors/New Films Festival. The Broadcast Film Critics’ Association has nominated it as the Critic’s Choice for Best Foreign Language Film.
Where Do We Go Now opens August 17th at the Tinseltown South Theater in Austin.
By Liz Lopez