By Lamis Ismail
The years 2018 and 2019 were a changing point in the Arab Cinema. Many Arab movies were nominated for the Oscars and Golden Globes, as well as screening at the Cairo Film Festival, Gouna Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival. These nine Arab movies have had massive international appeal. Scroll below to get the full scoop!
Yomeddine – Egypt (2018)
Surprisingly, Yomeddine achieved a huge success in 2018, although it didn’t contain any famous actors or actresses. All people who participated in creating this movie were starters in the field. The main story of the movie is a man suffering with leprosy leaving his colony for the first time in order to search for his lost family.
The director of the movie is Abu Bakr Shawky. The main actors and actresses were Rady Gamal, Ahmed Abdelhafiz, Shahira Fahmy, Mohamed Abdel Azim and finally Osama Abdallah. Yomeddine won the award for Best Arabic Feature at the Gouna International Film Festival and also screened at the Cairo International Film Festival.
Capernaum – Lebanon (2018)
It’s a Lebanese drama directed and written by Nadine el Labki and co-written by Jihad Hojeily. The main stars that participated in this movie are Zain Al Rafea, Yordanos Shiferaw, and Boluwatife Treasure Bankole. The movie tells us about a boy that committed a violent crime and spent five years in prison, and after he’s let out he decides to take revenge against his parents for negligence. This masterpiece won the Jury’s Prize Award at Cannes, and got nominated for a Golden Globe and it had a huge chance to win an Oscar.
The Day I lost my shadow -Syria (2018)
This movie is Syrian and it managed to win the award for Best Debut at the Venice International Film Festival. It was also screened at Toronto Film Festival and BFI London. The movie tells us a story of a single mother who took care of her nine-year-old son, and one day she went out to look for a gas cylinder then she got lost for three days because she got stuck in war- torn Damascus. The director of the movie is Soudade Kaadan and the main cast are Samer Ismail, Oweiss Mkhallalati, Sawsam Arsheed, and Reham Alkassar.
Reeh Rabany – Algeria (2018)
Merzak Allouache, the director of the movie, proved to the cinema world how talented he is. The movie tells us a story of two young terrorists who are on a mission to bomb a petroleum rig. The movie depicts their way of thinking, how they act and react, as well as their struggle in completing the mission and mainly the psychological problems in their personalities. The movie debuted at Toronto International Film Festival. The main cast are Hacene Benzerari, Abdelatif Benahmed, Mohamed Oughlis, and Sarah Layssac.
Weldi – Tunisia (2018)
The movie screened at Berlin Film Festival. Mohamed Ben Attia is the director of the movie. The movie is a story of a middle class couple who fall into turmoil after their son joins ISIS. The main cast are Mohamed Dhrif, Mouna Mejri, Zakria Ben, Taylan Mintas, and Tarik Copti.
Harb Karmooz – Egypt (2018)
This movie revolves around an Egyptian police officer named General Yousef al-Masri who lives in Karmouz, a neighborhood in Alexandria, who arrests an Englishman for raping an Egyptian girl and now has to face the wrath of the British Army. The director is Peter Mimy and Abdelrahman Abo Ghazala. The main cast are Amir Krara, Ghada Abdelrazek, Mostafa Khater, Mahmoud Hemeida, and Scott Adkins.
El Mamar – Egypt (2019)
This film depicts how Egypt reacted after losing Sinai to the Israelis. The director of the movie is Sheif Arafa and the main cast are Ahmed Ezz, Sherif Mounir, Eyad Nassar, and Ahmed Rizk. Audiences all over the Arab world fell in love with this movie.
Papicha – Algeria&France ( 2019)
The movie tells the story of Algiers back in 1997 where terrorists were everywhere, how women were oppressed and seeking to take control of their bodies, appearance, and to simply walk freely in public spaces. The director is Mouna Meddour and it stars Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella and Amira Hilda. The movie was nominated and screened at Cannes Film festival 2019.
Blue Elephant Part Two – Egypt (2019)
The Blue Elephant is one of the most unique movies that added a new taste to the Egyptian cinema. The series has achieved huge success in 2014 and 2019 and managed to add its own signature in the Arab cinema. The director of the movie is Marwan Hamed. The main cast is Karim Abdelazz, Nelly karim, Hind Sabri, and Eyad Nassar. The story of the movie is mainly about a meeting with a new inmate in a psychiatric hospital that changed Dr Yehia’s life and made him remember his family’s deadly accident.