From “Feathers” to “Majnoun Farah”, Here are the Arab Films that Left a Mark at This Year’s Cannes Film Festival

In Cannes 2021, the Arabs have shone. With six films from five different countries, Arab filmmakers are presenting glimpses of their vast, multi-faceted background to the international community, normalizing an Arab presence and redefining expectations.

Of the six, well-made films, “Feathers”, created by the Egyptian young director Omar El Zohairy, won the Grand Prize at Cannes’ International Critics Week.

Without further delay, here are the six Arab films at Cannes 2021 this year.

Casablanca Beats – Morocco

In this film, Moroccan Director Nabil Ayouch tells the tale of a group of young adults living in the Casablancian slums who join a workshop that pushes them to express themselves through hip-hop music and dance.

Europa – Iraq

Italian-Iraqi Filmmaker Haider Rashid submitted his heartbreaking film “Europa”, in which he envisions a young Iraqi immigrant’s struggle at the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

Good Mother – Tunisia

Here, Tunisian Actress and Director Hafsia Herzi presents a film about motherhood and family, where “Nour”, a cleaning lady in her 50s, supports her grandson “Ellyes”, who is serving a robbery sentence in prison, doing everything she can to make this horrible experience as pleasant as possible.

The Sea Ahead – Lebanon

“The Sea Ahead” by Ely Dagher, tells of the return of Jana, a young woman who has left Lebanon to travel overseas, to Beirut, where she reconnects with her family and her home city in an effort to overcome the trauma she has experienced abroad.

Feathers – Egypt

“Feathers” is an absurd, dark comedy feature that speaks of a mother trapped in a mundane, repetitive life, until one day, a magic trick at her son’s birthday goes wrong and her husband and father, who represents the patriarchy in her life, are turned to chicken. Now she struggles to return them back to normal while endeavoring to figure herself.

Majnoun Farah – Tunisia

Leyla Bouzid’s film “Majnoun Farah” is a modern Romeo and Juliet trope that takes place on campus in Paris, where Ahmed, a French-Algerian young man, meets Farah, a dreamful Tunisian girl who’s just made it to France; the film shows how desire and love intertwine along with regret.

WE SAID THIS: Have you watched any of these Arab films at Cannes? Don’t miss: Cannes Film Festival 2021: Arab Designers That Dawned the Red Carpet.