‘Caramel’ in the Context of Cultural Understanding

The lush, emotional fabric of Nadine Labaki’s Caramel consistently hints at how our common humanity is nested in the strains and particulars of the everyday. Seen by some as not culturally expansive enough, not ‘Arabic’ enough, for not dealing directly with traditional cultural motifs or broader political problems, the film’s intimate approach to the humanity of its characters is itself a vital comment on the nature of the human experience.

Caramel is a film about women and about Lebanon, but it is not strictly or exclusively that; there is something that goes more directly to the core of what makes any of us what we are. Longing, and the problem of how to reach out for what makes us feel, without betraying our surroundings or ourselves, is central to the story Labaki tells in Caramel.

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