Nour (Review)

1 (7)-170428104637211Nour? I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t gotten the chance to see it yet. Is it nice? Really? Is it still running in Lebanese theaters?”

Nour has been out of Lebanese theaters for more than a month now. Why? This is a question that probably has a lot of explanatory answers yet all disappointing indeed.

This movie directed by Khalil Zaarour tells the story of a 15 year old girl named Nour who was forced out of her innocent childhood by all forms of abuse. After many protests and awareness campaigns that were run by a number of non-governmental organizations in Lebanon against child abuse and child marriage in specific last year, Zaarour reinforces the case’s crucial arguments by portraying them through Nour’s suffering.


“I’ve been working really hard on this project with the whole crew for more than two years,” said Zaarour. “It was a very very long journey; it needed a lot of funding and follow-up. Unfortunately, it was very stressful and hard to find a reliable funding source, but I never gave up-not one second. Now I look back on all the overnights, the sweaty and cold days and I feel happy because we finally made it.”

Unlike many directors who take the same road as him, Zaarour feels grateful for the success of his project. Anyway, what is there to regret?

The movie is perfectly correlated from beginning to end. There was no useless footage or random filling of the storyline. It was focused and beautifully illustrating the phases of suffering a child goes through when forced into marriage. You don’t only see a girl crying, but also you watch symbolic objects of childhood innocence being shredded into pieces in front of your eyes. Not one minute can you take your eyes away or check WhatsApp because you worry you might miss a chance where you can jump out of your seat to reconnect Nour with her real lover. Not to mention the astonishing landscape shots of Yahchouch.

This film has been carefully produced to tickle every single aspect of cinema in a very Lebanese and powerful way. Even the casting was very successful. Not only Zaarour directed this film, but also starred as Nour’s abusive husband in it.

“I love acting, but I never got into a character like that before. I underwent proper casting just like every other actor. It wasn’t my decision to make, but I guess the role fit me the most,” he said.

Zaarour has done a very beautiful job getting into a character that neither resembles his morals nor behavior. The group of teenagers (Nour’s friends) were all witty, and very much into character despite their mere experiences in acting. It’s almost hard to believe that Vanessa Ayoub who portrays Nour is a real teenager with zero experience.

Aside from the fresh new faces, the professional actresses Julia Kassar, Aida Sabra and Nibal Arakji added a safe harbor to the movie’s cast.

“My father died before I could show him this movie. He was a great storyteller,” Zaarour expressed.

His father passed away before he could see this movie, and in their turn, the public’s chances of grasping a very artistic and humanitarian piece were also killed.

During our exclusive interview, Zaarour promised that Nour is only the beginning of many projects he plans on expanding in the future. would like to sincerely wish you the best of luck!


by Miriam Atallah


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