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8 Arab Films To Enjoy During Your Free Time At Home

Cozy up and enjoy some OG Arab talent.

Are you one of us that is spending more time at home? We’ve rounded up a watchlist of Arab movies to binge for when you throw a movie marathon with your friends, or alone (because of coronavirus precautions). Don’t forget that fresh batch of popcorn - happy watching!

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1. Wadjda – Haifa Al Mansour (2013)

Wadjda follows a young Saudi girl that signs up to her school's Qoran recitation competition to raise some funds she needs to buy a green bicycle that has captured her interest.

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2. Barakah Meets Barakah – Mahmoud Sabbagh (2016)

The classic love story, a young man from a middle class family meets a girl from a wealthy family and they wall in love and begin a romance in a country that frowns upon it… Who doesn't love a good romantic movie?

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3. For Sama - Waad al-Kateab (2019)

The narrative is based on Al Kateab’s life in war torn Aleppo as it tells her story of wanting to be a journalist, falling in love and marrying once of the last few doctors in the city and finally, giving birth to her daughter, Sama, for whom the film is dedicated to.

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4. The Great Muse – Abdulrahman Khawj (2017)

Abdulrahman Khawj’s 2017 film tells the tale of Nawaf, a Saudi high school graduate who is under pressure to pick a college major. While everyone else tells him what they think is best for him, he roams his city in search for an answer of his own.

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5. Bab’Aziz – The Prince That Contemplated His Soul (2005)

A fantastical film, Bab’Aziz is a Tunisian film that is part Nacer Khemir’s trilogy of films entitled “Desert.” It follows a blind dervish and his granddaughter Ishtar who walk through the desert together in search of a spiritual Sufi meeting that takes place once every 30 years. 

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6. Caramel - Nadine Labaki (2007)

This film marks Nadine Labaki's directorial debut and stands as a pop culture landmark in the Arab world. Set in a beauty salon, Caramel revolves around the lives of five women and how they got closer together. Our tip? Munch on caramel as you enjoy this iconic Beirut tale.

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7. Capernaum - Nadine Labaki (2018)

In this documentary-style drama, a Beirut child sues his parents for giving birth to him and end up on the street caring for a stranger’s baby. Capernaum is a tale of poverty, humanity, and universal love.

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8. These Saudi short films on Netflix (2020)

Created by local Saudi filmmakers, the short films under the title of “Six Windows In The Desert” highlight and challenge the social issues that often occur and need addressing in the Kingdom, including topics such as mental health and extremism. Read more here.

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