Costa Brava, Lebanon

Mounia Akl
Fri 22 Apr 22 - Sun 1 May 22

‘When I was growing up in Lebanon, I was surrounded by chaos and poetry’ director Mounia Akl says. That idea is executed in her debut feature film Costa Brava, Lebanon. The arrival of a smelling heap of trash
exposes cracks in the secluded, idyllic life of the free Badri family, who traded the city Beirut for a
mountain home. Nadine Labaki shines as Souraya, who feels the city pulling her back.

She sang a song at the protest he was at. He fell in love with her when she spilled whisky on his wounds and answered his tirade with a burst of laughter. They healed each other’s wounds, but all those years later they still have to learn to live with the scars. In the meantime, the free family Badri has escaped Beirut, the capitol of Lebanon, with its gathering trash and social unrest. In their secluded mountain home, the mother Souraya, father Walid, daughters Tala and Rim, and grandmother Zeina, live autopian and sequestered life.

But it won’t last. After a statue is erected of him next to their mountain home, the Lebanese president travels to their oasis and makes promises of an eco-friendly dumping ground.Trash quickly starts piling up next to the Badri home. Nastyscents and poisonous gases, rats and seagulls follow. Even though the Badris–armed with big gasmasks – kick the trash out of their little slice of paradise, theheap exposes some small cracks in their idyllic life. Costa Brava, Lebanon is an honest film about a man (Saleh Bakri) who is losing his ideals, and a woman (an amazing Nadine Labaki) who misses her exciting protesting life in the city. Their teenage daughter, Tala (Nadia Charbel), is looking for love and kindness, while their youngest daughter, Rim (portrayed by the twins Ceana and Geana Restom), just wants to be like her father: she grew up in this mountain home and stubbornly latches onto the lifestyle. And the grandmother? She thinks they should all take life less seriously.

Mounia Akl
107 min
Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Qatar
Dutch, English

Labaki gives a warm, conflicted performance.

Jessica Kiang in Variety