Lebanon

Lebanese Movies Worth Seeing On Netflix

A lot of Lebanese movies have finally found a home on Netflix, but not every movie is worth your time and effort. So to make your life a tiny bit easier, I thought I’d recommend a few films that really stood out for me over the years.

 

1- Very Big Shot (Film Kteer Kbeer) [2015]
One of the finest Lebanese crime dramas of the decade, “Very Big Shot” gained a cult following since its release, and understandably so. This is a first-rate film with great performances all around. Alain Saadeh is phenomenal as a small-time drug dealer who has the impossible task to smuggle drugs across the border. His plan? Hire a filmmaker (Fouad Yammine, in a role of a lifetime) to shoot a “fake” movie as an attempt to cover for his real plan. With twists and turns at every corner, the film will keep you pinned to your seat from start to finish. Best of all, you’ll find yourself revisiting it every now and then just for Saadeh’s unforgettable performance.

 

 

2- Khabsa (What Did I Mess) [2018]
I have seen this comedy 4 times already, and it gets better every time. Shady Hanna directs this hilarious movie set around a dinner table. Nayla (Rola Beksmati) is in love with Fares (Junaid Zeineddine). Problem is: they are no longer together. As an attempt to win him back, she invites him to dinner to introduce him to…wait for it…her fiancé Silvio! (Abboudy Mallah). This is a set-up for a comedy that keeps throwing  gags at you, even when you know there’s nowhere else it can do. “Khabsa” gets it right from start to finish. It’s one of the funniest Lebanese films you’ll see on Netflix.

 

 

 

3- Solitaire (Mahbas) [2017]
Think “Meet The Parents” but set in a Lebanese village. That’s the easiest way to describe “Mahbas”, a well-made, constantly entertaining comedy that earns the “crowd-pleaser” status. Sophie Boutros directs a likable cast in a film that never looks down on its audience.This is escapism at its best.

 

 

 

 

4- Whispers  [1980]
Maroun Bagdadi’s “documentary “Whispers” feels like a powerful punch to the gut, even in 2020. The film follows a Lebanese poet who takes a road trip across a country devastated by war. Watching Beirut in ruins is no easy task, but it’s Bagdadi’s poet eye that makes “Whispers” a film worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

5- Heritages [2014]
For writer/director Philippe Aractingi, devising a film that follows his decision to leave his home country for yet another time during the 2006 war couldn’t have been easy. And if “Heritages” is less than perfect, it’s still pretty powerful. The fact that it’s a personal journey featuring his entire family makes it all the more impressive.  Aractingi works so well with his family that everything seems genuine and naturalistic, even the scenes involving his young children, which are quite remarkable. By making his points in the context of a vivid, authentic story he has created an exceptional film that’s hard to forget.

 

 

6- Ghadi [2013]
Every detail of this modest movie is well thought out and executed, from the spot on casting to the heartwarming story. Georges  Khabbaz plays a music instructor living in a typical Lebanese neighborhood with his wife and 3 kids. His only boy, Ghadi, suffers from Down Syndrome and is mocked by the entire neighborhood. Khabbaz and co wanted to turn a serious social issue into a crowd-pleasing movie. The result is a film that’s funny and extremely moving at times, not to mention unusual. “Ghadi” was a hit at the time of its release, and it’s a perfect time to revisit it on Netflix.

 

 

More (popular) movies: Caramel [2007], Where Do We Go Now? [2011], Capernaum [2018], West Beirut [1998], Zozo [2007], Bosta [2005]

Categories: Lebanon, Lists

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