Beyond Sight And Sound: Arab Films Redefining Entertainment for Every Sense

For many, films and movies are visual activities that make for easy and quick entertainment, but sometimes, we crave a more immersive experience.

We want you to experience the magic of cinema by introducing films designed to tantalize each of your five senses. From the tingling sensations of tactile narratives to the aromatic atmospheres that waft through the screen, these films are a testament to the boundless creativity that cinema can unleash.

Sight – Al Kit Kat

Starring legendary Egyptian Actor Mahmoud Abd El Aziz, who plays Hosny, the blind sheikh who lives in a neighborhood called Al Kit Kat. It’s a simple and pure film that depicts the life of a visually impaired character who escapes his daily life by spending his nights singing and smoking.

It has that comedic flair to it as well as a dive into dreams, hopes, and aspirations as the main character constantly daydreams about riding motorcycles and living a different life from that of his own.


Taste – The Dinner

Bringing an unusual twist to a typical Arab family dinner is Noura Al Saud’s “The Dinner,” a film that puts an Emirati father in the hot seat. His daughter is returning home after studying abroad and bringing with her some friends. The father has to prepare a family feast for them that only a local butcher can whip up.

Picture this, a massive table with a large platter of a towering lamb on rice and many other meat dishes. Along with the food, expect a lot of drama and awkwardness on the table as the father, daughter, and her Korean friend indulge in the scrumptious meal.

Hearing – Only The Winds

Taking viewers on a sensory journey is Lebanese filmmaker Karim Kassem’s documentary, where he visits a blind institute to conduct research in an attempt to find someone to play himself in parallel as he himself in the film is suffering from a condition that temporarily blinds him.

Even though the film is set in an institute for the visually impaired, hearing takes center stage as the characters with an inability to see end up having their other senses heightened, especially that of hearing. Throughout the film, you’ll notice how sound and the surrounding auditory landscape will come into play.


Touch – Muhi: Generally Temporary

Zooming in on a world where touch gets redefined is the Palestinian documentary “Muhi: Generally Temporary.” The immersive documentary explores the life of an 8-year-old Palestinian amputee known as Muhi.

We follow his temporary stay at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital and his positive attitude despite the amputation of his hands and feet. Throughout the film, he scrambles around the hospital in his prosthetic limbs, showcasing the power of touch and its vital role in daily life.


Smell – Perfume

In psychology, they say that smell is closely linked to memory and how certain scents trigger an influx of old happenings in our lives. Knowing this, Baghdad-born director Yahya Al-Allaq made use of that link by bringing to life a film that taps into smell and memory.

“Perfume” is all about an American-Iraqi woman whose American husband gives her a perfume that reminds her of her own traditions back in Iraq.


As we conclude this cinematic journey, let these films serve as an invitation to embrace a new era of storytelling, one that engages not only our eyes and ears but our entire sensory palette, leaving an indelible mark on the way we experience and appreciate the magic of cinema.

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