The Arab American National Museum’s 14 the annual Arab Film Festival has come to a close. Bringing marginalized voices to the forefront, this year’s curated selection of films explored stories related to home, community, and diaspora. Here are four films I recommend.
See all the past films from the festival at www.aanmfilmfest.org.
Sofia

The story of a young woman who realizes she’s pregnant the same day she gives birth out of wedlock in Morocco, a crime punishable by prison time. I think this was my favorite film of the festival, as the characters had a realistic depth to them.
Yommedine (Judgement Day)

Also featured at Cinetopia Film Festival this year, this film made me cry. It provided the heartfelt tale of a man who ventures out of an Egyptian leper colony for the first time, reluctantly joined by a young orphan named Obama, to find his long-lost family.
Weldi (Dear Son)

While the filmmakers/editors could have done a better job with the storytelling insofar as pacing and what scenes they chose to show or leave out, this is worth a watch for its superb acting and powerful storyline about the aging parents of a young Tunisian man who unexpectedly skips town to join ISIS.
Mafak (Screwdriver)

The portrait of a political prisoner freed after 15 years and his struggles with PTSD, this film set in Palestine had a real sense of place.
Honorable Mentions for shorts Colors of Resistance, a documentary about Palestinian artists from director Areeb Zuaiter, and Salam, a drama about a NYC Lyft driver starring Hana Chamoun.
Are there any films you're interested in? Comment them below!
Joanna Joanna (Guest Contributor) was born and raised in Metro Detroit. A fan of thought-provoking thrillers and indie films, she also enjoys a good chick flick. When not at the movies, she can be found running, reading, or writing bar trivia.
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