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Review: Zozo (2005)

Director: | 105 minutes | | Acteurs: Imad Creidi, Antoinette Turk, Elias Gergi, Carmen Lebbos, Viktor Axelsson, Charbel Iskandar, , , , , , , , ,

‘Zozo’ tells the poignant story of the approximately twelve-year-old boy Zozo (Imad Creidi), who, thanks to the civil in Lebanon, loses everything dear to him in one devastating blow. His parents (Carmen Lebbos and Charbel Iskandar) and older sister (Tatiana Sarkis) are killed in a bombing. His brother, who survives the attack because, like Zozo, he was outside the apartment at the decisive moment, takes him to a container to shelter from the approaching soldiers. Although Zozo begs him to stay with him, he leaves his younger brother with a promise to pick him up soon. Unfortunately this is not the case. Because the was just about to leave for Sweden, where Zozo’s father’s parents have built a safe life for some time, Zozo is in possession of all passports and visas. After a few days Zozo manages to get on a plane, after having to say goodbye again to someone who has become very dear to him in a short time: a girl, Rita (Antoinette Turk), who meets him the day after the bombing street and who helps him find food, shelter and with whom he can be a child again. If the circumstances had been different, a cast-iron bond would have developed between the moving duo. Unfortunately, this isn’t the last hurdle Zozo must overcome on his way to adulthood. shelter and with whom he can be a child again. If the circumstances had been different, a cast-iron bond would have developed between the moving duo. Unfortunately, this isn’t the last hurdle Zozo must overcome on his way to adulthood. shelter and with whom he can be a child again. If the circumstances had been different, a cast-iron bond would have developed between the moving duo. Unfortunately, this isn’t the last hurdle Zozo must overcome on his way to adulthood.

When he arrived in Sweden, he was lovingly admitted to the home of his grandfather and grandmother (Elias Gergi and Yasmine Awad). Grandpa is a colorful figure who can often make Zozo laugh. This is also grandfather’s goal, he wants Zozo to have as normal a childhood as possible. Zozo is very eager to learn and learns the Swedish language in no time. That this is not enough, becomes clear on his first day at school, when he is beaten by three harassing boys. Zozo has a lot of trouble to settle down in the strange Sweden and for an uprooted child that is of course very distressing.

Josef Fares previously directed the comedies’ Jalla! Jalla! ‘ and ‘Kopps’. Humor is also interwoven in ‘Zozo’, but – logically speaking of the subject – drama predominates. Although the never gets too sentimental, it is heartbreaking to see what Zozo has to endure and realize how terrible a civil war is. It is unacceptable that children should miss their parents that way. The director also uses elements, which turn out unexpectedly well. Zozo, for example, befriends a chick who gives him advice in an adult voice, and he has visions of a golden light that comes to him from heaven. Fares himself came to Sweden as a ten-year-old boy, so ‘Zozo’ is partly autobiographical.

The actors each put on a top performance. The acting is very natural and the characters are lifelike. Especially the choice for Iman Creidi as the protagonist turned out very well. Because he carries the film practically on his shoulders, a heavy task rests on him. Fortunately, the boy knows how to portray his character very convincingly, he moves, amuses and his wonderful smile at the end of the film gives you a warm feeling.

Zozo (2005) Drama, Family, War | 1h 45min | 2 September 2005 (Sweden) 6.6
Director: Josef FaresWriters: Josef FaresStars: Imad Creidi, Antoinette Turk, Elias GergiSummary: A Lebanese boy gets separated from his family during the civil war and ends up in Sweden.

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