Subscription

The Time Is New: Contemporary Arab Cinema

A selection of the best in contemporary Arab cinema.

This collection, which borrows its title from the book There: In the Light and Darkness of the Self and the Other by Etel Adnan, accompanies a wider season of works screening at BFI Southbank through September 2021, highlighting recent films made by Arab filmmakers between 2019 and 2021.

Bringing together a selection of fiction, documentary and genre-defying films, we highlight new currents within Arab cinema that challenge the stereotypical, weave personal narratives into broader questions and celebrate the potential of imagination as a path to a politics of freedom.

Arab Cinema has gained significant visibility on the international festival circuit in recent years, yet there are continuing efforts to create spaces for screening critically-acclaimed Arab films for audiences in the region. Many of the titles here have been screened at the Cairo-based Zawya Cinema, and so this season is a coming together of two organisations with two very different histories, audiences and infrastructures. Enjoy!

season co-programmers Youssef Shazli and Alia Ayman.

Read more Close

Subscribe now

Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time.  

Fans of contemporary Arab cinema can claim an additional free month. Simply add the code 1MONTHEXTRA when you sign up for subscription.  

Subscribe to watch

Beauty and the DogsBeauty and the Dogs

Drama2017100 minsDirector: Kaouther Ben Hania

Kaouther Ben Hania’s bold and defiant fiction debut tells the story of a sexual assault in nine stunning single-take sequences.

Subscribe to watch

Let's TalkLet's Talk

Documentary202199 minsDirector: Marianne Khoury

An exploration of identity, as told by the women in family of the great Egyptian filmmaker, Youssef Chahine.

Subscribe to watch

Talking about TreesTalking about Trees

Documentary201994 minsDirector: Suhaib Gasmelbari

Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.

Subscribe to watch

As Above, So BelowAs Above, So Below

Documentary202070 minsDirector: Sarah Francis

A poetic reflection on sovereignty, perspective, space and futurisms.

Coming soon

SouadSouad

Drama2021102 minsDirector: Ayten Amin

An engrossing portrait of Middle Eastern Generation Z.