Sweet Briar Film Series opens with comedic drama from Lebanon

Posted on August 22, 2008 by Staff Writer

The Sweet Briar College Weekend Film Series opens Sept. 5 and 6 with the Lebanese film, “Caramel.” The annual series, which features recent popular films as well as titles that haven’t been screened locally, is free and open to the public. All shows begin at 7 p.m. in Tyson Auditorium (Room 100) in Benedict Hall.

Nadine Labaki directed and acted in “Caramel,” a story of five Arab women confronting everyday issues of love and life in Beirut. Much of the story takes place in the beauty salon where several of the women work.

“Women of various shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds gather to bond and gossip,” wrote New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott on Feb. 1, 2008. “Their camaraderie is occasionally disrupted by a crisis, but you are likely to remember this charming film, directed by Nadine Labaki, less for its gently comic, mildly melodramatic plot than for its friendly and inviting atmosphere.”

The PG-rated film is notably not about the political upheaval and conflict in Lebanon in recent years, but Scott observes that the director’s “evident affection for the battered panache of her native city” is one of the qualities that “make ‘Caramel’ hard to resist.”

Upcoming films in the series include:

  • “Stop Loss” (rated R) — Sept. 19 and 20

  • “City of Men” (rated R) — Oct. 10 and 11

  • “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” (rated PG-13) — Oct. 24 and 25

  • “Reprise” (rated R) — Nov. 7 and 8

  • “Quid Pro Quo” (rated R) — Nov. 14 and 15

  • “Mama Mia” (rated PG-13) — Dec. 5 and 6

  • “Brideshead Revisited” (rated PG-13) — Dec. 12 and 13

For more information about the film series, contact Eleanor Salotto, associate professor of English and film studies, at (434) 381-6159 or esalotto@sbc.edu.