Models Shanina Shaik and Sara Sampaio land in Jeddah

“Salon de Huda”

Hany Abu-Assad has long been one of the most acclaimed Palestinian filmmakers, receiving an Oscar nomination for his now classic 2005 film “Paradise Now” and another for “Omar” in 2013. Both films were about men struggling under occupation, unsure of how best to live their life for themselves, their families or their country. With “Huda’s Salon”, Abu-Assad returns to Palestine for the first time since “The Idol” of 2015 for another true story. It focuses on the plight of Palestinian women, however, and has been called a “feminist thriller”. Longtime Abu-Assad collaborator Ali Suliman brings his trademark naturalism to the role of Hasan, but it’s Maisa Abd Elhadi as Reem and Manal Awad as Huda who shine the most, as than two women caught in a thriller that pushes back the traps. from the male point of view with intention.

‘Feathers’

Another Arab film is unlikely to be as debated this year as the feature debut of Omar El-Zohairy, the last true visionary to emerge from the rich world of Egyptian cinema. With this absurd satirical drama, El-Zohairy has crafted a story in which circumstances may not be like ours – in “Feathers” a woman is forced to provide for her family after her husband is turned into a chicken – but struggles certainly do, as the concept of magical realism gives way to an unfailing look at modern society and the very real suffering of women in rural Egypt. Already the big winner at the Cannes Film Festival this year, the film caused an uproar in El-Zohairy’s home country, which may have denied him a possible Oscar nomination. But that doesn’t make it any less a must-see on the Red Sea.

“Casablanca Beats”

Morocco’s official candidacy for the best international feature film at the 2022 Oscars, “Casablanca Beats” is a lively and often joyful look at the country’s musical culture, following a former rapper named Anas (Anas Basbousi) who works at the Positive School of Hip Hop, true cultural center of Casablanca. Anas’ non-traditional teaching techniques inspire her young students in ways they never thought possible, each finding their own voice through rap, showing the intense spirit that can follow a fiery dream, as well as the pain of societal realities that may become in the way.

‘Ghodwa’

Tunisian Dhafer L’Abidine has had a career full of twists and turns. Once a professional footballer in his native country, he moved to London and found success in British film and television before becoming a big star in Egypt. With “Ghodwa”, its first director, L’Abidine turned its attention to Tunisia with a hard and serious look at the political challenges of modern Tunis. The story follows a father (played by L’Abidine) and a son for whom Tunisia’s past and political present collide in a way neither is prepared.

‘The choice’

Ask any Egyptian director who inspired him to become a filmmaker and there’s one name you’ll hear over and over again: Youssef Chahine. Thirteen years after his death, Chahine’s reputation as a chronicler of Egyptian life, large and small, who has shown generation after generation through his layered melodramas, the many facets of what the film could accomplish has only to grow. If “The Choice” is your first adventure in classical Egyptian cinema, you have chosen a good starting point; this exciting and beautifully shot adaptation of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz’s novel is Chahine at his best.

“The lost girl”

Given their ubiquity, we may think that we know the Gyllenhaal family all too well at this point, but “The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut film, shows that there is still a lot to be discovered and the actor extremely talented can also be one of the best filmmakers of her generation. Her adaptation of the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante features another powerful performance from Oscar winner Olivia Colman (“The Favorite”) and also makes the most of Dakota Johnson, in this story of a woman who becomes obsessed with another woman as she vacates. It’s a movie that becomes just as unsettling as one would expect from this premise.

‘To become’

This anthology weaves together the stories of five different Saudi filmmakers – Sara Mesfer, Jawaher Alamri, Noor Alameer, Hind Alfahhad and Fatima Al-Banawi – to show the different sides of a changing kingdom. For example, an 11-year-old girl arrives at her aunt’s house a day just before Friday prayers to find that she can suddenly express everything she hid from her conservative parents; a bride disappears on her wedding night; and a divorced mother struggles with an anxiety disorder. The stories are bold and uncompromising, featuring women who are destined to shape the future of Saudi cinema in front of and behind the camera.

“The Gravedigger’s Wife”

Audience success in Cannes, this debut film by Finno-Somali filmmaker Khadar Ayderus Ahmed follows a man in Djibouti who discovers that his beloved and vivacious wife will die unless he finds $ 5,000 for emergency surgery – a sum that he has little hope of accumulating. If this intimate film is small, its heart is immense, and the cultural specificity of the film and its assured staging make it stand out from the crowd. It’s an inviting take on an unfamiliar world that’s totally relatable, with characters you won’t soon forget and just enough social satire to leave you with plenty to discuss.

‘Ennio’

Few composers have such a disproportionate reputation as the late Italian maestro Ennio Morricone, and for good reason – of the 500 films he has helped bring to life through his music, many have become cultural milestones, including “The Good, the bully and the ugly, ”“ La Chose ”and“ Cinéma Paradiso. ”On Morricone’s death in 2020, the latter’s director, his old friend and collaborator Giuseppe Tornatore (president of the jury of the Red Sea Film Festival) gathered some of his most famous collaborators, including Quentin Tarantino and Clint Eastwood, for a look back at the life and work of a true genius, with all the joy and emotion that Tornatore and Morricone brought in the end full of tears of ” Cinema Paradiso “.


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