Capharnaüm recounts the journey of 12-year-old Zain, who decides to sue his parents for having brought him into this world when they can’t raise him properly, even if only to give him love. It’s a symbolic gesture in the name of all the children who, having not chosen to be born, should be able to demand from their parents a minimum of rights. Zain has no documents and so, in the legal sense, he doesn’t exist. The trial provides the frame through which his story unfolds.
This film that won numerous prizes is a fiction, all the elements of which the director has lived and witnessed while she was researching. Nothing is fantasy or imagined. The dark world where the characters move, is symptomatic of an era, and the fate of every big city in the world. Nadine Labaki is convinced that films can, if not change things, at least help to open up a debate, or make people think.