The holidays are here. That means a whole lot of time off work, Christmas jumpers, and snuggly winter weather. Netflix and chill is absolutely in the cards – however here’s our version with a Lebanese twist.

Old or new, a good movie will always remain a good movie whether it was released 30 years ago or it’s coming out soon. Bored of Lebanon's movies concerning the war and blood-filled themes, we have compiled a list which stays clear of this genre. If you have any additions – let us know in the comments below!

After all, the more movies to watch, the better the excuse for popcorn!

1. Caramel (2007)

You really can't have a Lebanese movie list without a Nadine Labaki film. Following the lives of five women, four of whom work in a beauty salon, this movie combats the taboos surrounding sex, sexuality, and expectations of women in society. Aside from the fact Caramel premiered at Cannes and was nominated for numerous awards (and indeed won), it remains a favourite of many to this day for its light-hearted and humorous touch.

Watch the trailer here.

2. NUT$ (2016)

This film is due to screen at the Dubai Film Festival soon, and is at the top of our list. Recklessly reversing gender roles, this movie captures the lives of Jenny and Lama, best friends who couldn't be more different. One a housewife obsessed with poker, and the other obsessed with men, their obsessions take them to exciting places. This is one adventure well worth keeping an eye out for!

Watch the trailer here.

3. Ghadi (2013)

A heart-warming comedy set in a small village in Lebanon about a young boy named Ghadi with Down Syndrome. The neighbours, angered by his condition, put together a petition to evict him. His parents however, had other plans and instead convince the neighbours that Ghadi is an angel. Winning numerous awards and global recognition, this movie showcases the love of family paralleled to the ignorance of society in a witty and hilarious way.

Watch the trailer here.

4. Tramontane (2016)

Another one of our favourites from the upcoming Dubai Film Festival. A journey of a blind man traveling through Lebanon to find his birth certificate and meeting extraordinary people along the way, listening to their experiences and forming his own questions in a bid to discover his true identity. Tramontane has already won awards and showcased at the International Critic's Week section of Cannes in 2016, and it's not hard to see why. We can't wait for it to be released!

Watch the trailer here.

5. Film Kteer Kbeer (2015)

Three pizza-making, drug-dealing brothers want to get out of the business to open a restaurant - which, their boss isn't too happy about. Convincing them to make one final million dollar shipment to Syria, this adventure attracts the unimaginable. Stumbling upon a not so talented filmmaker on the way, the brothers find themselves the stars of his movie. An unexpected, adrenaline-pumping, hilarious movie which did pretty bloody well, this thriller is a must watch!

Watch the trailer here.

6. Bint el-Hares (1967)

Old but gold - a classic featuring our nation’s sweetheart, Fairuz. A story about the daughter of a guard who loses his job because the town is out of criminals (hard to believe, I know!). In a bid to get his job back, his daughter, Fairuz, causes a whole lot of mischief while singing all of our favourite songs. Imaginary microphones at the ready!

Watch a clip here.

7. 12 Angry Lebanese (2009)

12 Angry Lebanese is the Lebanese version of the famous 12 Angry Men – a film revolving around the jury of a murder trial. Ironically, this documentary was filmed inside Lebanon's notorious Roumieh prison and featured the prisoners as the actors. It went on to win awards including the People’s Choice Award at Dubai International Film Festival. Zeina Daccache's vision for this documentary was more than just a film, and carries a strong social message aimed at changing the system's penal system which is heavily criticised as unjust, and inhumane. Daccache has previously put together a similar concept in a woman's prison in Baadba, and recently, put together another production, Johar…Up In The Air, again featuring inmates as actors and was performed in Roumieh itself. 12 Angry Lebanese has been described as "deeply moving and full of humanity" by the Guardian, and the social message behind it alone makes it a must-watch for this winter season.

Watch the trailer here.

8. Around The Pink House (1999)

Though released in 1999, the underlying storyline of Around the Pink House is a very much a real problem in society at the moment. A family take refuge in a magical pink house during the war, however, as the war ends and Beirut starts being rebuilt, their home is about to be destroyed and replaced with an urban commercial centre . This project splits the neighbourhood in two – those for the development and those against it. This movie is a microcosm of modern day Beirut, which sees traditional Beirut architecture being ripped down for modern developments – hitting home with many. A tale of resistance and passion, we highly recommend giving this a watch over the holidays.

Watch the trailer here.

Popcorn at the ready – enjoy!

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