All actors in Capernaum are people whose real life resembles that of the film. Thus, Zain’s real life is similar (to some extent) to that of his character, as was Rahil, who was undocumented. For the character of Zain’s mother, Nadine Labaki was inspired by a woman she met, who has 16 children and lives in the same conditions as those of Capernaum. Six of her children have died and others are in orphanages for lack of care. The one who plays the role of Kawthar really fed her children with sugar and ice cubes.While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.