SIFF MasterClass | Nadine Labaki： The Beauty of Art Lies in Truthfulness
SIFF “Master Class” was officially opened in Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University and attracted faculties and students of the university and enthusiastic fans of the festival. They watched and studied CAPHARNAUM, the film directed by Nadine Labaki. The Director of Shanghai International Film Center Fu Wenxia and the Executive Dean of Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University He Xiaoqing attended the event.
Fu Wenxia, Director of Shanghai International Film Center
He Xiaoqing, Executive Dean of Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University
Last year in May, the Lebanese film was shortlisted into the Golden Palm of the 71st Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Prize. This was Nadine Labaki’s second time to be invited here, following her visit with the leading actor of CAPHARNAUM during the 21st SIFF last year. After the screening, Nadine Labaki, who just arrived in Shanghai in the morning hold a conversation with Shu Haolun, film director and master supervisor of Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University, and shared with audience the backstage stories during the creation of the film.
Director Nadine Labaki hold a conversation with Shu Haolun
Getting to Know All the Streets and Lanes of Lebanon in Three Years
Nadine Labaki revealed that CAPHARNAUM will soon be seen in Chinese cinemas and she was eager to know how the Chinese audience would react to the first Lebanese film released in China mainland. To truthfully and vividly reflect the social situation of Lebanon, Nadine Labaki spent 3 years to get the social experience and make street research in the country. With her production team, she have almost stepped her feet onto the streets and lanes of every place in Lebanon, “including slums, prisons, courts and other places, and we made an extensive and thorough investigation. I have no right to imagine their living status. I have to see with my own eyes, and to think and record them personally.”
I Want to Do Something for the Street Children
Against the background of a war-torn and socially chaotic Lebanon, the film CAPHARNAUM tells a story of Zain El Hajj, who lives at the bottom of the society but fights bravely with fate. The audience was moved by the strong, brave, kind and responsible kid. When answering why she made a heart-wrung film like this one, Nadine Labaki said: “Lebanon has 1 to 2 million refugees, among which the street children take up a great proportion. I want to do something for these people by making this film.
All Amateur Actors
Seeing from the filming style, CAPHARNAUM is more like a “documentary” with a complete storyline. Nadine Labaki told the audience, the 6-month shooting followed a sequential order, and the first page of the script became the first scene and the story evolved gradually. Surprisingly, all the role in the film were played by amateurs, whose identity in reality were refugees, policemen, judges, etc., which made it even difficult for the director. “Many of them were illiterate and barely understand the script. I asked them to improvise and just be themselves in front of the camera instead of playing others.”
Director Nadine Labaki
Shanghai International Film Festival has been devoted to the promotion, education and popularization of film culture, and in order to share its professional resources with the practitioner of the film industry and fans, SIFF will cooperate with film academies and professional institutions in Shanghai to present “Master Class”, and invite internationally renowned film makers to shanghai for film screenings and communications.
Group photo: Nadine Labaki with guests and audience