Egypt has been the leader when it comes to a lot of things, especially multimedia production, in the MENA region. But recently, countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Algeria has been trying to steal the spotlight, and guess what some of them actually succeeded! So, without further ado here’s our list of recommendations for some masterpieces that you don’t want to miss out on.
At the first couple of scenes you won’t feel like the movie is discussing such a huge issue, but as the events go on you’re going to get more attentive. The events take place in the late 90s when it was the beginning of extremism movements in Algeria. While a bunch of girls were having nights out and living their lives casually, we get to know about recent several terroristic incidents from the news along with a gang of black-dressed women intrusively intervening in the protagonist’s life by many means.
The development of events and characters are interestingly tailored. The situation that started with hate speech posters and ended with gunshots would keep you praying it ends happily for the characters despite knowing the ending already. The movie in available on Netflix and we suggest that you use subtitles as the dialect may be difficult for Egyptians. The movie’s rate on imdb is 7/10.
You guessed that right, the main story is about Israeli occupation, but it’s not just that. Some Palestinian guy called Omar planned with his friends for killing an Israeli soldier, they did and he got arrested for that, then shortly got out. The story is full of unexpected plot twists that successfully maintain your excitement. Notably, the romance aspect is beyond cute. The whole movie does not have a theme music except for one scene, which indicates how originally expressive the events are. The movie’s imdb rate is 7.5/10.
A comedy drama movie about a father and his son driving around the town hand delivering their daughter/sister wedding invitations to family and friends as Palestinian norms say. As time goes on we get to know more about their relationship through a bunch of humorous events. The occupants were smoothly discussed in the movie as well. Its rate on imdb is 7.3/10
Barakah Meets Barakah-2016 (Saudi Arabia)
The movie is romantic-light comedy tackling a much serious issue. Simply the story is about a couple that can’t communicate their love as they are unable to sit together in public due to the country’s policy and social rules. From an indignation on reality tone, in the words of the protagonist, he compared the country’s current state and Saudi Arabia in the past, where music, culture, clothes, and the whole lifestyle was different and how everything has changed to the worse. On a side note, you would enjoy the vivid Egyptian artistic touch present in the movie represented in Om Khalthoum, Hend Rostom, and Amr Diab. The movie’s rate on imdb is 6.2/10.
Wadjda-2012 (Saudi Arabia)
This case is unique. The movie is the first Saudi-produced project to be directed by a female, Haifaa El-mansour. It’s the first movie to be shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia as well. Wadjda is a school girl who dreams about having a bike but is restricted due to social norms that considers such sport to be masculine. She does everything she can to save money and buy it by herself including entering a Quran recitation competition in school. The kid actress’s performance is beyond authentic. The movie’s rate on imdb is 7.5/10.
A masterpiece that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as well as being nominated for best foreign language film at the Oscars. It tackles the extreme poverty many children are facing that made Zain that aged 12 decide to sue his parents for bringing him to life. Moreover, the movie showed how an Ethiopian refugee that is secretly a mother living illegally, and how coincidence made her meet Zain, our protagonist.
The performance of the characters –who were not originally actors- is what we can describe with realistic. Its rate on imdb is 8.4/10. We recommend to you other Nadine Labaky’s movies like “Caramel” and “Where Do We Go Now?” that are available on Netflix.
A movie of the romantic-comedy genre telling a story of a Lebanese family that was expecting a suitor for their daughter who they –just then- recorgnize is Syrian. The family had a traumatic experience as the mother’s brother died with a Syrian bomb 20 years ago. The movie is interesting and light despite the greatly emotional scenes present in it. Its rate on imdb is 6.8/10.
The Insult-2017 (Lebanon)
The movie is about a clash between a Christian Lebanese and a Muslim Palestinian engineer over a balcony pipe that we later on realize that the actual reason is ethnic racism. The tension between them escalates to moral and physical trespassing and eventually in the courtroom. It was nominated for the Oscar’s best foreign language film and its rate on imdb is 7.7/10.
Halal Love (and Sex)-2015 (Lebanon)
The movie goes under the genre of tragicomedy. It tells the story of three Muslim couples that are trying to enjoy love without breaking their religion’s rules. We’ll find how they struggle to do so in a light comedy context. The movie’s rate on imdb is 6.3/10.
You Will Die at 20-2019 (Sudan)
The movie is selected to represent Sudan at the Oscars for the best foreign language film award. It’s about a Sudanese villager whose parents were told that he’s going to die at the age of 20 and how they reacted on that. The protagonist found a slight layer of freedom after his overprotective mother let him study Quran with others, that’s when he understood life, bad and good. The movie’s rate on imdb is 7/10 and you can watch it at Zawya cinema and on Netflix.