Set in the heart of the Middle Eastern community in Vancouver, Canada, Kayan is an intricate story of betrayal, belonging and love in all their complicated and often paradoxical glory. Hanin, a strong-minded Lebanese woman, tries her best to keep Kayan, her struggling restaurant, afloat. A subtle, authentic movie about an everyday twentyfirst century heroine trying to make ends meet in a place far from home, this offers a strikingly different perspective on our city.
Kayan offers a glancing impression of Middle Eastern diaspora life through a vivid rendering of a busy Lebanese restaurant in Vancouver. Iran-born helmer Maryam Najafi films an actual eatery, enlisting its staff and clientele to play themselves; their seamless perfs contribute to the pic’s docu-like veracity, led by thesp Oula Hamadeh’s magnetic presence in a complex leading role." Maggie Lee, Variety
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
"You may never hear the Rolling Stones’s Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger’s and Clayton’s separate accounts of the recording of the song." Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"This generous, fascinating documentary about the careers of backup singers, most of them African-American women, seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital." AO Scott, New York Times
"Just about everything in this movie is right. And anybody who gives a rip about unsung heroines of popular music and giving credit when credit’s overdue had better come up with a good excuse not to see it." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune