Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Eight Arabic films you can stream online this Eid: From 'The Perfect Candidate' to a dubbed 'Parasite'

With the four-day holiday just around the corner, a handful of new Arabic films are making their way to streaming platforms

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour's 'The Perfect Candidate' first premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. La Biennale Di Venezia
Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour's 'The Perfect Candidate' first premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. La Biennale Di Venezia

Eid Al Adha is, typically, a time when you can expect plenty of new releases to hit cinemas in the UAE.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic having drastic effects on the film industry, with release dates postponed left, right and centre, it comes as no surprise that many movies are skipping the big screen in favour of streaming platforms.

And, with the four-day holiday just around the corner, a handful of Arabic releases are making their way online.

From a selection of festival-accredited short films, which includes an Emirati animation as well as a Jordanian stop-motion picture, to a dubbed version of Oscar-winning Korean thriller Parasite, here are some titles to add to your must-watch list this Eid weekend.

'Karouma'

Karouma is a short Emirati animation that tells the story of a gifted boy who is striving to realise his full potential, with hopes of flying his parents' nest and chasing his dreams.

The short film by Boubaker Boukhari toured more than 70 film festivals around the world after it debuted in 2016. It won eight awards including Best Animation Film at the Pennine Film Festival, Silver Remi Award at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, and Best International Expat Short Award at the Korea International Expat Film Festival.

Where to watch: OSN

'The Perfect Candidate'

Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Arab world, The Perfect Candidate tells the story of Maryam, a young doctor who surprises everyone by standing as a candidate for the local municipality in Saudi Arabia.

The feature film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, was scheduled to show in the region for the first time at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea International Film Festival in March, but the festival was cancelled due to concerns around Covid-19.

Where to watch: OSN

'The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf, and the Boy'

This coming-of-age parable from Lebanon acts as a warning against telling lies, misjudging enemies and engaging in actions that spread the cycle of vengeance. The short film, directed by Oualid Mouaness, tells the story of two brothers who use their father’s rifle without his consent.

Since its release in 2016, the title has toured more than 20 international film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival. It was also shortlisted for the 89th Academy Awards in the Best Live-Action Short Film category.

Where to watch: OSN

'The Parrot'

'The Parrot' is a short Jordanian film directed by Amjad Al-Rasheed and Darin J. Sallam. Courtesy: Osn
'The Parrot' is a short Jordanian film directed by Amjad Al Rasheed and Darin J Sallam. Courtesy OSN

This Jordanian short film tells the story of a Mizrahi Jewish family that emigrates from Morocco to Haifa, Palestine, in 1948, where they find an abandoned parrot in their new home.

Directed by Amjad Al Rasheed and Darin J Sallam, the film stars Tunisian actress Hend Sabri. Since its release in 2016, the short film has toured many international film festivals and won two Jury Awards at the Malmo Arab Film Festival and Mizna’s Twin Cities Arab Film Festival.

Where to watch: OSN

'Ayny'

Ayny is a Jordanian stop-motion animation that follows two boys who run away from home to play music, only to get caught up in the perils of war.

The film won the Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Animation in addition to more than 20 international awards, including Best Animation at the Lebanon International Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Valletta Film Festival.

Where to watch: OSN

'Five Boys and a Wheel'

This Jordanian short film shows a young father helping his son resolve a petty conflict with their neighbours. As the parents of the respective families meet to discuss the issue at hand, the discussion quickly spins out of control, putting the values of the father to test.

The 2016 film – directed by Said Zagha – is based on American author Raymond Carver's short story Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes. The short has won several awards including Golden Wahr Award at the Oran International Arabic Film Festival, Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival and Golden Khanje Award at the Muscat International Film Festival.

Where to watch: OSN

'Parasite'

This marks the first time that the Oscar-winning thriller 'Parasite' is going to be dubbed in Arabic. Courtesy: Osn 
'Parasite' garnered a number of accolades at this year's Oscars. Courtesy Osn

This marks the first time that the Oscar-winning thriller has been dubbed in Arabic. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the 2019 South Korean black comedy shot into the international spotlight when it raked in four Academy Awards earlier this year, including the coveted Best Picture Oscar. The film tells the story of a poor family, the Kims, who con their way into working for a rich family, the Parks.

Where to watch: OSN

'The Enshrined Saint' (Saheb El Makam)

'The Enshrined Saint' (Saheb El Makam). Courtesy MBC
'The Enshrined Saint' (Saheb El Makam). Courtesy MBC

Marking Egyptian star Yousra’s first feature film in eight years, The Enshrined Saint will make its pre-cinema release on MBC's streaming platform Shahid VIP. The drama revolves around a troubled young businessman whose only hope for a better future is in the hands of one woman (Yousra), who tries to get him closer to God.

In a statement ahead of the film’s release, Yousra said she usually prefers to play characters “that I have never portrayed before, and so this project definitely appealed to me, as the story itself hasn’t been presented in Egyptian or Arab cinema before".

Where to watch: Shahid VIP

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Read more:

The Arab films debuting at this year’s Venice International Film Festival

Audrey Hepburn to John Legend: These are the 16 people that have EGOTs

Emmy Awards 2020: Ramy Youssef given Best Actor in Comedy nomination

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Updated: July 29, 2020 02:22 PM

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