Four Middle Eastern Films You Need in Your Life
January 24, 2020
Watching a foreign film can be tough, if you don’t speak the language but here are a few that I’ve found to be quite poignant. OmarThis movie is completely in Arabic, but don’t worry, t
Watching a foreign film can be tough, if you don’t speak the language but here are a few that I’ve found to be quite poignant.
This movie is completely in Arabic, but don’t worry, there are subtitles. Set on the border of Israel/Palestine, Omar is the story of a boy who falls for his best friend’s sister named Nadia…in the middle of a war. As if love wasn’t already tough enough...let’s add a war to further complicate things. No spoilers here but be careful who you root for in this film.
I admit this one is a little tough to follow because it switches from Arabic to Hebrew (have no fear, there are subtitles) depending on which character the camera is following, but it’s interesting. This movie follows Salma who is a lemon farmer. She inherited the grove from her late father, and to many of the characters, has the best lemonade in Israel. However, the Israeli Defense Minister moves…to the other side of Salma’s lemon grove. And it all goes downhill from there. This movie will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. Be prepared to empty out a box of Kleenex.
This documentary is also in Arabic and Hebrew much like Lemon Tree. This movie follows the peaceful protestors of Budrus in the West Bank. The documentary follows them over the course of 55 demonstrations and gives insight to the struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians. This one’s a real tear jerker; perhaps one of the most profound quotes in the movie is “I really wanted to cry, but it wasn’t a suitable time for crying."
Waltz with Bashir
My personal favorite after Omar. Waltz With Bashir along with Lemon Tree was directed by Ari Folman. This movie in particular was adapted from a book with the same title, which covered the effects of war on the director, specifically the Lebanese war that occurred under Bashir (sometimes spelled as “Bachir") Gemayel. This movie is in the form of a cartoon which makes the story a little hard to follow, but it’s worth watching.
Overall, these movies all have a very poignant message, and all comment on the human experience regardless of the nationality, race, and creed, and give you a different perspective on life.
*All titles aside from Budrus can be found online (YouTube/Netflix).