When the Eternals first land on Earth, they save a boy on the seafront from a Deviant attack. The figure of the boy is played by a teenage actor from Syria, Zain Al Rafeea.
Zain Al Rafeea was born in Syria on October 10, 2004. Eternals is the second film in the filmography of this young actor, although his appearance there did not last long. Zain Al Rafeea’s appearance in Eternals opens the journey of the immortals on earth. He also became one of the humans from the BC civilization who witnessed the arrival of the Eternals spaceship in the teaser trailer of the film released last May.
The figure of Zain Al Rafeea was eyed by Marvel after he stole attention through a film called Capernaum which won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In this film, Zain Al Rafeea plays a character named Zain El Hajj whose name is based on the actor’s real name.
After playing Capernaum, Zain Al Rafeea won a series of award nominations and came out as the winner in almost all of these nominations.
For Capernaum, Zain Al Rafeea won Best Actor at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Vest Young Actor/Actress at New Mexico Film Critical, Best Debut at the FEST International Film Festival, and Breakout Performance Award at the 40th Annual Young Artist Awards. All of that was achieved between 2018 and 2019.
Before becoming an actor, Zain Al Rafeea lived in a slum area in Beirut with his parents. When he was hired to play Capernaum, he couldn’t read at all even though he was 12 years old at the time. He also never received an education as an actor at that time.
Capernaum then changed Zain Al Rafeea’s life. He moved from Syria and lived in Norway for several months and for the first time attended school. He began to learn to read and write and enjoyed his childhood well.
Not only Zain Al Rafeea who was praised for his performance in the film Capernaum. The film also received praise for the choice of the production team and director in using non-professional actors. Capernaum tells the story of Zain El Hajj (played by Zain Al Rafeea), a 12-year-old boy who is imprisoned for stabbing someone. He was then brought to court and decided to sue his parents for being born.
Capernaum focuses on Zain’s life in Beirut and his encounters with an Ethiopian immigrant named Rahil. This Arabic-language film was directed by Nadine Labaki and grossed $68.6 million at the box office from a budget of just $4 million.