Arab and Foreign Press Praise Director Jihane Chouaib's Lebanese Film Go Home
Director Jihane Chouaib's feature film managed to garner the praise and admiration of the Arab and foreign press in several festivals worldwide UAE cinemas. After each festival participation, film critics would single out their reviews complementing Chouaib's feature debut.
The film's success among critics and audiences alike led to its commercial re-release in the UAE through Roxy Cinemas in Dubai.
The Hollywood Reporter's Boyd van Hoeij described the film, stating, "this niche drama should find some willing takers on the festival circuit", while Screen Daily's Wendy Ide praised the film's female lead, "A powerhouse performance from Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani drives an impressive feature debut". Variety Magazine's Peter Debruge commented on the film saying that it elicited respect as it travels festivals and art house venues far from home.
On Al-Araby Al-Jadeed website, critic Nadeem Jarjoura singled out an article saying, "While the actors seem effective in several performances in the cinematic structure, Farahani steels the spotlight with her beauty and presence on-camera." In Al Bayan Newspaper, critic Ibrahim Toutanji listed four reasons why Go Home is worth watching; the beautiful confusion, psychological suspense, a different cinematic experience, in addition to the dazzling performance in the film. The article also discussed each point in detail.
Ola Al Sheikh on Emarat Al Youm online platform raved about Golshifteh Farahani, "Farahani, who plays the female lead, managed to transfer all the emotions that are expected and unexpected by an astounding performance using her looks, voice, and language that was a mix of Arabic and French, as well as her body language."
Al Sheikh also added, "The film's tempo from the very beginning magically entraps the viewers, incites curiosity to grasp the threads of the story, so that they are indirectly involved along with the girl in a search for a past full of fear but also hidden sweetness. Here, director Jihane Chouaib's excellent management of the film's elements is apparent. While the dark grey hues dominate most of the scene, a light is clear at the end of the tunnel."
Critic Mohamed Ruda of Assabah Aljadeed news portal also applauded the director's debut feature, "It is a type of film often repeated in Lebanese cinema. A film that delves deep into the Lebanese war and its repercussions on individuals. However, it differs in its tender and accurate treatment of the emotions swirling inside the main lead. Jihane Chouaib skillfully moves on from short films to features. She puts her lead character on center stage and makes everyone including the audience revolve around her."
The film revolves around Nada, who is returning to her abandoned family home in Lebanon that was destroyed and dilapidated by the war, turning its garden into a dump. She decides to resettle in this place amidst her childhood memories, setting a mission for herself: finding the body of her grandfather who had disappeared during the Civil War. Her journey leads her to discover myths and secrets while searching for her own identity.
Go Home was supported by Enjaaz programme. It was nominated for the Best Feature Film Award in the Best Muhr Fiction Feature competition during Dubai International Film Festival in 2015. In the same year, the film was nominated for the New Currents Award at Busan International Film Festival. Go
Home also concluded the events of the 12th Lebanese Film Festival.
Directed by Jihane Chouaib, Go Home stars the award-winning Golshifteh Farahani, who began her career at the age of who won five awards at five different film festivals. Farahani also starred alongside
Leonardo Dicaprio in Body of Lies, becoming the first Iranian actress to take part in an American film since 1979.