Where Do We Go Now?

Where Do We Go Now?

2011, PG-13, 110 min. Directed by Nadine Labaki. Starring Nadine Labaki, Leyla Hakim, Yvonne Maalouf, Antoinette Noufaily.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Aug. 17, 2012

Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, this Lebanese film looks at what might happen to the area’s ancient religious conflicts between Muslims and Christians if women ruled the region instead of men. The film starts somberly as women dressed in black proceed to the town cemetery – one side reserved for Muslims and the other side for Christians – to polish the gravestones and pray for their dearly departed, many of whom we presume to have been killed in religious skirmishes. The introduction of a TV set into the local cafe has amped up the remote village’s tensions with its constant blare of the turmoil in the world outside.

The women cook up an underhanded plan to trick their menfolk into camaraderie by feeding them some hash brownies and importing some exotic dancers to satisfy their more libidinal hungers. Amale (played by the writer/director Nadine Labaki, who performed the same tasks in her 2007 film Caramel) takes a lead role in organizing the women. With a sweetheart on the other side of the local religious clash, she has a vested interest in resolving the conflicts. A peak of merriment comes as the women gather to bake and sing as though they were in a musical. It’s a high point of energy in a film that is otherwise more concept than action. The humor in Where Do We Go Now? is otherwise low-key and sporadic, and in marked contrast to its darker aspects. It’s a “what if” story that’s hopeful but doesn’t ring true.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Nadine Labaki Films
Capernaum
Lebanese drama of the destitute is tough to watch, but tougher to live

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 1, 2019

Rio, I Love You
All set in Rio de Janeiro, this is a collection of short films

Marjorie Baumgarten, May 6, 2016

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
The Reason I Jump
Poetic insight into autism, based on Naoki Higashida memoir

Jan. 8, 2021

Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 of 2020
Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 of 2020
"An eye toward 2020 hindsight"

Dec. 18, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Where Do We Go Now?, Nadine Labaki, Nadine Labaki, Leyla Hakim, Yvonne Maalouf, Antoinette Noufaily

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle