2007, May 20 – PREMIERE OF “CARAMEL”

Nisrine is about to get married but there is only one problem, her husband to be, comes from a conservative muslim family and she is no longer a virgin; she is desperate…her friends from the beauty shop where she works accompany her to the gynecologists office for moral support where she will restore her virginity through surgery…this is just one of the intriguing, funny and moving storys of four women who work in a beauty shop in Beirut….all magnificently threaded with an alluring tango “Tango El Caramel” composed by Khaled Mouzanar…”Caramel” was Nadine Labaki’s first full length feature film and it was a phenomenal success with both critics and public all over the world…the title “Caramel” refers to an ancient method of epilation dating back to 1900 BC Egypt, in which a mixture of sugar, lemon juice and is applied to hair to remove it; it is sometimes refered to as Persian waxing…each of the women in the beauty shop is living her own drama; Layale, played Nadine Labaki, is stuck in a dead-end relationship with a married man….

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Rima, the shampoo girl, finds herself mysteriously attracted to a beautiful customer and wonders if she is a lesbian…Jamale, a customer and aspiring actress is worried about getting old…Rose an elderly women with a tailor shop next to the beauty salon, has devoted her life to taking care of mentally ill older sister but now she has unexpectedly found love …the film is unique for not focusing on war-torn Beirut but on how a group of people deal with every day issues even as soldiers are patrolling the streets…..Nadine Labaki not only played the lead role but wrote and directed the film as well; her sister Caroline was the costume designer and her boyfriend Khaled Mouzanar composed the music; he and Nadine married shortly after the film was completed…”Caramel” was made for 1.6 million dollars and grossed over 15 million dollars…one critic wrote, “Nadine Labaki has made a glorious film…it’s funny, warm-hearted and without cliché as it tells us a lot about the tough choices facing women in a society where two kinds of fundamentalist religions contest”

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