Ghadi is a socially-conscious comedy that tells the story of Leba, played by Georges Khabbaz, a music instructor who lives in a Christian village in Lebanon. The film opens with flashbacks to Leba's childhood, depicting his beloved village through the eyes of a young boy, with very little changing, that is until he finds out his wife will soon give birth to their third child and first son, Ghadi.

Ghadi, whose name in English means "my future," is born with down's syndrome. He often sits at the windowsill of his home, watching over the village, yelling - seemingly indiscriminately - at the villagers down below. Day and night, this behavior begins to weigh on the increasingly frustrated and annoyed neighbors.

It is through Ghadi's disability, and the neighborhood's reaction to him, that the audience is taken on a journey, at times comical, of judgment, trouble, laughter and eventually acceptance. Leba tells the religiously committed villagers who want Ghadi out of the town that his son is an angel sent from heaven to save the village. He links his son's constant yelling to the consistence occurrence of sinning.


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Khabbaz, who also wrote the film, introduces us through voice-over narration to an endearing cast of overly cliched characters that the audience can totally relate to. Camille Salame plays the local barber who always overcharges for his haircuts and works as a real estate agent on the side. There's also Christine Choueiry, who plays the town prostitute and Mona Tayeh, who plays the stereotypical old village spinster. All three actors are remarkably good at their roles without seeming exaggerated. Lara Rain falls short in her performance as Leba's wife. Khabbaz's acting partner in his latest play, "Mish Mikhtilfeen," Cynthia Karam, might have been a better actress for the role.


(Photo via ِAnnahar)

Khabbaz's years of work on stage as an actor, scriptwriter and director shine through in the film. While the movie is directed by Amin Dora, who won an International Digital Emmy Award for directing the web series Shankaboot, Khabbaz's accessible writing style and appealing characters weigh in beautifully against Dora's gorgeous cinematographic work.

At a very basic level, Ghadi upholds a strong message of acceptance and tolerance for everything that's considered "different." It is through Ghadi that other issues of intolerance in Lebanese society are approached: from homophobia to racism and sectarianism.

Ghadi will be showing in Grand Cinemas, Circuit Empire, Circuit Planete, VOX Cimenas and Cinemall on October 31. For more information, click here

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