Thursday, April 12, 2012

FFF 2012 straggler reviews: Where Do We Go Now? (3 stars)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Co-written, directed by and starring the stunning Nadine Labaki, Where Do We Go Now? (5 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at Regal Winter Park) taps into so many zeitgeist-y, late-night high-deas of how to fix the world – drugs, sex and soap operas? – and zigs and zags in tone so frantically, that part of its thrill and its charm lies in guessing which way it will go next. [youtube 7x-Bs_u1H6E] Set in a remote Lebanese village plagued by land mines and sectarian violence, the film opens with a funereal musical chant (one of the movie's handful of ill-fitting yet innocuous numbers) in which the village's women, dressed in black, bemoan their divided people. It's a sentiment immediately undercut once we get a feel for the place: The local imam and priest seem to be working together to bring about peace, and a makeshift TV signal is the centerpiece of nightly gatherings where the busty women of Western television briefly distracts the villagers from their solemn lifestyles. [youtube AcIjWhCSNfw] Religious strife continues unabated, however, so the women – Christian and Muslim alike – hire a busload of city strippers as a kind of permanent distraction fixture. Suddenly, a Lysistrata narrative begins to take shape, and the timing couldn't be better. (Our own Arts & Culture editor, Jessica Bryce Young, recently called for a return to Aristophanes' strategy to combat the GOP's War on Women.) When a young boy is caught in sectarian crossfire, the film turns grave while a contradictorily lively new plan is put into place, combining the strippers' unique talents with the power of mind-altering drugs, drink and, finally, a village-wide mind-fuck reversal that is never fully rationalized. At times, it's as if Labaki drew inspiration from countless comedians who've suggested similar routes. Where Do We Go Now? is well-made, affecting and thought-provoking, but it's also wildly scattered and slightly schizophrenic. Like Four Lions before it, which attempted a similar comic-tragic take on the Middle East problems, it never fully gels. [youtube QBGuk2lfZdc]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 21, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation