WHERE DO WE GO NOW? Send This Review to a Friend
One of my favorites of 2012 is “Where Do We Go Now?” This France-Lebanon-Italy-Egypt production, directed by Nadine Labaki, who also is one of the stars, is set in a village in Lebanon, where Christians and Muslims live in an uneasy situation in which violence can break out at any time. The women of the village are tired of losing husbands and sons in battle.
The film turns the Lysistrata story on its head. Village women want to distract their men from the tendency toward hot-headed violence and come up with a scheme. The women conspire to import a group of strippers form the Ukraine to tantalize the men and keep them occupied. The screenplay, which Labaki wrote in collaboration with Jihad Hojeily and Rodney Al Haddad, offers the opportunity for much hilarity as well as moments of poignancy.
The spectacle of the whorish-looking strippers who can shake their butts in sexy dancing is funny in itself. But we also get a look at what these women are really like, working at their profession to earn a living. The set-up offers a comment on sex as well as on the challenge of keeping the peace.
A conglomeration of character types, all well-cast, adds to the overall amusement, and at the same time the film makes a salient point in striking a blow against war, as women are empowered to take matters into their own hands. Here is an enjoyable dip into Middle East madness that makes its point by means of audacious women who have had enough of death and destruction. A Sony Pictures Classics release.