Capernaum — the word means ‘chaos’ or ‘disorder’ — opens with overhead shots of Beirut buildings and slow-motion images of kids running that suggests we are in poetic mode. But not for long. Bookended by a court case, we follow 12-year-old Zain’s life: his abusive parents haven’t registered him for an ID card and he is unable to prevent his 11-year-old sister being sold to a seedy greengrocer for chickens. Zain goes on the run, a non-person in flight. He is given shelter by an illegal Ethiopian cleaner, Rahil, and Zain becomes babysitter to her one-year old, Yonas. But When Rahil fails to return from work one day, Zain is forced into desperate measures to keep Yonas and himself alive.
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