From its opening image—women clad in black, marching to a graveyard—this Lebanese feature by Nadine Labaki dwells on the crushing weight of grief, yet it returns again and again to the inventive spirit of comedy. In a village uneasily shared by Christians and Muslims, mishaps inside the local church and mosque are taken for sacrilegious vandalism by the menfolk and threaten to escalate into sectarian violence. But the women (who've apparently made a close study of Lysistrata) conspire to keep their hotheaded men from each other's throats. Even more so than in Labaki's debut feature, Caramel (2007), a sisterly solidarity appears to be the world's last, best hope. In English and subtitled Russian and Arabic.
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