Welcome to Arab Film Days 2021!
Over the last ten years, Arab Film Days have showcased an incredible amount of exciting films produced in the region, and this year's program is no exception. Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic, Arab films of high entertainment and production value are flourishing on the international film stage. The festival program comprises 20 carefully selected documentaries and fiction films that will quicken the heart and engage the mind. Some countries stand out in particular, highlighted in our three geographical focus areas, Lebanon, Palestine and Morocco. Themes such as women's rights, culture and identity are prominent in many films from and about the region, and form a large part of the festival program. With genres ranging from thriller, film noir and surreal comedy to hard-hitting, political documentaries and modern film classics, we hope that the digital edition of Arab Film Days offers a welcome break from the home office – and we're still crossing our fingers for the opportunity to screen a selection of the films in the cinema. So team up with a friend, hit the couch, and enjoy the festival!
Here, you will find clear-cut films by established directors as well as newcomers. This section offers something for everyone, and ranges widely in geography, genre and themes. The common denominator is that the films will move and surprise you, and possibly challenge our usual notions of the Arab world.
Morocco 2020, Ismaël Ferroukhi, 1h 43m
Gaza mon amour
Palestine, France, Germany, Portugal, Qatar 2020, Arab Nasser, Tarzan Nasser, 1h 28m
Because reality often surpasses fiction! Our documentary section truly displays the range of what the documentary genre has to offer. Here you will find intimate, witty and surprising people portraits as well as provocative, political films. No film in this section will leave you feeling indifferent.
USA 2020, Bryan Fogel, 1h 59m
USA, United Kingdom 2020, David Osit, 1h 29m
Lebanon has gained much recent attention. This section offers an insight into the different realities that co-exist in a country marked by significant class division, and a journey through film history to the Beirut of the past.
Beirut, la vie en rose
Lebanon 2019, Èric Motjer, 1h 13m
A Long Breath
Lebanon 2019, Remi Itani, 1h 7m
These four stories from Palestine are very different in style and genre, but have in common a focus on everyday life during occupation and Palestinian identity. The section offers absurd humor, nerve-wracking suspense, relationship drama and a charming portrait of Ramallah's enormously invested mayor.
Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Italy 2020, Ameen Nayfeh, 1h 36m
It Must Be Heaven
Palestine, France, Qatar, Germany, Canada, Turkey 2019, Elia Suleiman, 1h 37m
These three films show the diversity of Moroccan culture, through stories of women's struggles in a Berber village, a musical exploration of the country's rich, Jewish cultural heritage, and the large class divide in Casablanca. These are all films with a big heart!
In Your Eyes, I See My Country
Morocco 2019, Kamal Hachkar, 1h 15m
Fadma: Even Ants Have Wings
Morocco, Belgium 2020, Jawad Rhalib, 1h 20m
Fokus: Women's Rights
The main characters in these three films all dream of a different life, but end up on fundamentally different paths: Noura wants to start again but is unable to get a divorce, Fadma rebels against traditional, gendered division of labor, while Nada attacks unknown men after dark.
Tunisia, Belgium, France 2019, Hinde Boujemaa, 1h 34m
Tunisia 2020, Youssef Chebbi, Ismaël, 1h 35m
Focus: Culture and Identity
This section ranges from musical feel-good, a thriller about religious fundamentalism and a low-key drama about a family forced to deal with patriarchal structures, to a heartwarming documentary about life in refuge and the encounter with a new home country. Each in their own way, these films pose questions about our role in this world, and our opportunities to redefine it.