TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021, What's Streaming? by - September 12, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’

I love TIFF because you get to see cinema from all over the world. This unfortunately comes with a price, as there are times where I feel very out of my depth when watching certain films. A great example of this is Mounia Akl’s debut feature Costa Brava, Lebanon, which makes me feel like I do not have a strong enough grasp on the present situation in Lebanon.

What I do know is mostly trite; buzzwords like inflation and corruption. Conflicts such as the Beirut explosion (which supposedly affected our film’s production schedule) and the COVID-19 pandemic. The country sits on the brink. Having grown disgusted with the moral failures of the big city, Walid has pulled his family to an idyllic mountain home. However, the president announces the development of a new “green” landfill project just outside this idyllic home. So Walid knows that it’s only a matter of time before things get unlivable.

Yet, Walid persists onward, much to the chagrin of his partner Soraya (acclaimed director Nadine Labaki). As the wreckage piles up outside their door, the deteriorating conditions of the couple’s marriage are mirrored inside. I like what Akl is doing in terms of centering the land in Costa Brava, Lebanon. Many shots early in the film are of character’s feet as they walk, which ultimately makes the changes more impactful. I could do without the film’s not as effective emotional core, particularly the precociousness of young eight-year-old Rim (Ceana and Gina Restom).

  • Release Date: 9/12/2021
This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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