SKIES OF LEBANON – Review by Jennifer Merin

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Skies of Lebanon, the first feature from French-Lebanese filmmaker Chloe Mazlo, who co-scripted with Yacine Badday, is an unusual film that brilliantly mixes live action and animation to capture the tensions and intense drama of a family surrounded by and undermined by war.

The story follows Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) as she leaves her repressive family in Switzerland for a new life in Beirut, where she’s found work as a nanny. By chance, she meets and immediately falls madly in love with the ever-simpatico and charming Joseph (Waidi Mouawad), a rocket scientist who is as dedicated to her as he is to achieving Lebanon’s first space shot.

Their day to day married life is the substance of the script. Despite their failed desire to have a child, they are infectiously happy and enjoy good times with great friends and the quiet comfort of their home — until all of that is disrupted by the eruption of civil war. Continue reading on CINEMA CITIZEN.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).