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In a secluded village the somewhere in the Middle East, all is not well. A deep-seated hostility between Muslims and Christians that has plagued the region in the past threatens to rear its ugly head once more, and with the men of both religions rash and short-tempered, it is up to the women of the village to defuse the tension using their feminine wiles.
Treading a more political path than her 2007 debut CARAMEL, director Nadine Labaki nevertheless maintains a distinct degree of levity in her approach to what is sensitive subject matter, lifting the mood with comical depictions of the women's scheming-particularly their recruitment of a troupe of Ukrainian dancers to distract the men-as well as with a delightfully idiosyncratic smattering of musical numbers.
That this lightheartedness works is testament both to the outstanding performances of a largely non-professional cast, and to the way in which humour often becomes the best remedy for painful memories.