Coming hot off the heals of Sundance and the Rotterdam comes our next major international festival, the Berlinale. The 73rd edition takes place February 16-26 in Berlin, Germany. There is a strong selection of Arab Films at Berlinale 2023, and art. Check them out below:
Arab Films at Berlinalel 2023 - Film still from Al Murhaqoon (the Burdened)

Film still from Al Murhaqoon (The Burdened)

Al Murhaqoon (The Burdened) by Amr Gamal – AFFC 2020 Alum
Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia – Narrative Feature – Panorama
World Premiere
During the civil war in Yemen, Isra’a becomes pregnant again and, together with her husband, she decides for an abortion. But this creates enormous problems, including in their relationship. A moving story from an all-too-often forgotten crisis region.
Arab films at berlinale 2023: film still from under the sky of damascus

Film still from Under the Sky of Damascus

Under the Sky of Damascus by Heba Khaled, Talal Derki and Ali Wajeeh
Denmark, Germany, USA, Syria – Documentary Feature – Panorama Dokumente
World Premiere
Experiencing violence is commonplace for Syrian women but they do not discuss the prevalence of – often sexual – exploitation for fear of revenge. A collective of young women wants to break the taboo with a theatre project. But how free are they themselves?
arab films at berlinale 2023: film still from the temple woods gang

Film still from The Temple Woods Gang

The Temple Woods Gang by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
France – Narrative Feature – Forum
International Premiere
Two neighbours, each as overwhelmed as the other: an ex-soldier grieves for his mother alone, while a family father leads his criminal gang into a heist with fatal consequences. French genre cinema in the desaturated colours of a banlieue façade.
Film still from concrete valley

Film still from Concrete Valley

Concrete Valley by Antoine Bourges
Canada – Narrative Feature – Forum
International Premiere
A Syrian family has lived in Canada for five years. As Farah tries to settle in with her community in Toronto, Rashid – an unlicensed doctor – struggles with the ruptures in his biography. A film about the everyday difficulties in a new country.
arab films at berlinale 2023: still still from back

Film still from Back

Back by Yazan Rabee
Netherlands – Documentary Short – Berlinale Shorts
International Premiere
He has left his Syrian homeland, but he cannot escape from a recurring nightmare where state security forces are pursuing him while the home that can save him seems beyond his grasp. How deep into the past do the roots of trauma reach?
Film still from Les Chenilles

Film still from Les Chenilles

Les Chenilles by Michelle Keserwany & Noel Keserwany
France – Narrative Short – Berlinale Shorts
Two women meet as waitresses and tentatively become friends. They are both from the Levant and living in exile in France. A film about the Silk Road, about exploitation – then and now – and about female solidarity, friendship and solace.
arab films at berlinale: image from borrowing a family album

Image from Borrowing a Family Album

Borrowing a Family Album by Tamer El Said
Egypt – Forum Expanded Exhibition
World Premiere
Tamer El Said appropriates another family’s amateur footage to reclaim a memory of a lost sibling. The installation invites visitors to look for their own recollections in the same footage, creating an act of collective remembrance in the process.
arab films at berlinale 2023: image from Simia: Stratagem for Undestining

Image from Simia: Stratagem for Undestining

Simia: Stratagem for Undestining by Assem Hendawi
Egypt – Forum Expanded Exhibition
European Premiere
Speculation as a method for worldmaking: Simia was created in conversation with the fictitious artificial intelligence program Project Simiyaa, which aims to create a planned economy and manage infrastructural commons across Africa and the Middle East.
Film still from Kash Kash

Film still from Kash Kash

Kash Kash by Lea Najjar
Germany, Lebanon – Documentary Feature – Guest of Perspektive Deutshes Kino
The pigeons flying over Beirut can be seen as a beacon of hope in an age-old game of chance, “kash hamam”, that is all about increasing the size of one’s own flock. This film portrays three pigeon fanciers and a girl hoping to fly her own birds one day.
Are you going to watch some Arab Films at Berlinale 2023? Tell us in the comments which of the movies you loved the best!