Costa Brava, Lebanon is the directorial debut of Lebanese actress and filmmaker Mounia Akl, starring Nadine Labaki (Capernaum) and Saleh Bakri (The Band’s Visit). A keen and darkly comic commentary on Lebanon’s waste crisis and unsettled political landscape, Costa Brava, Lebanon won the prestigious NETPAC Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the BFI London Film Festival. We open the film July 22 at the Monica Film Center.
The film captures the joys and frustrations of a close-knit family with an intimacy that feels startlingly natural, and sets them against a sharply drawn backdrop of environmental crisis. In the not-so-distant future, the free-spirited Badri family have escaped the toxic pollution and social unrest of Beirut by seeking refuge in an idyllic mountain home. Without warning, the government starts to build a garbage landfill right outside their fence, intruding on their domestic utopia and bringing the trash and corruption of a whole country to their doorstep. As the landfill rises, so does tension in the household, revealing a long-simmering division between those family members who wish to defend or abandon the mountain oasis they have built.
“A heartfelt charmer. The gentle wisdom it contains is attuned to country, family and lifestyle choices as abstract concepts, as all the things we mean by the word “home,” which is where Akl’s heart is.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety
“A stellar near-future family drama. Mounia Akl’s feature debut comfortably occupies a space between Beasts of the Southern Wild and Honeyland. Her film is partly magical, partly real, but total fiction, because fiction is the best way to capture the tragicomic clown show that unfolds throughout.” – Andrew Crump, The Playlist
“Something uniquely special and a perfect, alluring example of all that is wrong with the world we’re living in.” – Hanna B., Film Threat
“A terrific feature debut… works both as a compelling domestic drama and an elegant political allegory.” – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily