Overshadowed by the allure of high-budget and star-studded Hollywood movies, yet Arabic cinema has advanced a lot in the recent years, either influenced by the global movie scenes or the dynamic shift of events in the Arab world. The typical movie scenarios concerned with wars, oppression, and politics are diverging and paving the way for more varied plots that are abundant in creativity and originality.
2016 is proving to be a very successful year for Arab cinema, kicking it off with Theeb Oscar win to promising movies to be released later this year. Therefore, We’ve listed 5 movies that we highly recommend to put on your watch list:
1) The Worthy (المختارون)
When you cross Ali Mostafa’s directing skills and Image Nation Abu Dhabi production, you know the movie is definitely going to be worth the watch!
Featuring the prominent Samer Al Masry (Bab Al Hara), The Worthy diverts from the archetypal Arab movie scenarios by plunging us into a post-apocalyptic setting in which clean water supply is scarce, and follows a group of men on their instinctive mission to survive.
The movie is set to come out later this year; therefore we’ll have to make-do with this gripping teaser:
2) 3000 nights
3000 nights is set in an Israeli prison in the 1980’s, where an imprisoned Palestinian schoolteacher (Layal) gives birth to her child. The movie highlights the struggles and difficulties Layal has to overcome and endure to keep her child safe.
This highly acclaimed Mai Masri production was nominated for 3 International film awards and won 2 more, making it one of most distinguished films by an Arab female producer.
3) Queen of The Desert
The only Hollywood production on our list; this exaptation of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) centers more around the life of the British writer and traveler -among other things- Gertude Bell (Nicole Kidman)
The movie was filmed between Jordan and Morocco and stars the Syrian actor Jay Abdo among giants of Hollywood such as Robert Pattinson, James Franco, and Nicole Kidman, proving that this movie definitely fits our title.
Yes, that is a Bedouin-style clad Robert Pattinson holding baby lion cubs; another reason to put this movie on your watch list.
3) Rattle The Cage (زنزانة)
Yet another entry for an Image Nation Abu Dhabi production company on our humble list. Image Nation seem to be revolutionizing Arab Cinema by combining the western production teams and values with local ones in their movies.
The thrilling story is about a prisoner, Talal (Saleh Bakri) who has to overcome the psychological battle with a psychotic Israeli officer Daban (Ali Suliman) in order to save his family.
Still not impressed? The following trailer should do the job.
5) Theeb (ذيب)
Probably the only movie released prior to 2016, yes, it’s that good!
The long-awaited detachment from typical Arabic movie plots is proving to be prompting our writers’ creative juices to flow with dynamism. With 14 nominations and 10 wins -the most recent being the remarkable academy award nomination- Theeb attracted a lot of heat and showcased the Arab skills on the international stage.