"Genre (Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction) has been a rarity in the landscape of Arab cinema, despite the fact that the region is filled with folkloric fantasy stories of Jinns, Ifrits, Shaitans, and Ghouls…" So begins Antoine Waked's insightful essay titled "Rise of the Arab Genre" which is also the theme of a series of films curated for Aflamuna -- a nonprofit streaming platform, created by Beirut DC, to share independent Arab cinema with audiences across the world.
Highlighting the filmmakers' refusal to comply with regional rules and themes, the essay travels through the work of Amin Sidi-Boumédiène, Talal Selhami and Ghassan Salhab (whose The Last Man from 2006 is pictured above) -- touching upon Shahad Ameen's Scales and even Kaouther Ben Hania's Beauty and the Dogs.
The result is a piece any and all who enjoy cinema from the Region should read and it's available on Aflamuna, where most of the titles Waked mentions are also available to stream this month.
Read it in its entirety here. And don't forget to watch the films!