5 Films to Watch With Your Kids This Spring Break

Films are an educational opportunity that can be worth multiple months of reading. At the same time, film watching is a great family activity because of the shared feelings and emotions, the opportunity for discussions, and the insights we get of each other’s thinking and feelings.

Here are 5 films I recommend for you and your kids this Spring Break.

1. Stray

STRAY explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three strays – Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal – as they embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life — and their own canine culture. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The disparate lives of Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them. Whether they lead us into bustling streets or decrepit ruins, the gaze of these strays acts as a window into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. STRAY is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.

2. Captain Abu Raed

When an old airport janitor finds a captain’s hat in the trash, he gets pulled into the lives of children in his poor neighborhood. He weaves imaginary stories of his world adventures to offer hope in the face of their harsh reality.

3. Raya and the Last Dragon

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. From directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” will debut simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theatres on March 5, 2021.

4. Zozo

This film is a Lebanese-Swedish movie, directed by the Lebanese-Swedish Joseph Fares. It’s not the first to show the Lebanese civil war from children eyes (check for West Beirut, and In the Battlefields) but it shows how the war and its consequences follows a kid beyond the country’s borders. So for a boy, once in Sweden, his life is not necessary easier than how it was back in a flaming Lebanon. In fact, I found that in this movie, Zozo’s life in Lebanon was full (relatively) of joy, while when he arrived to Sweden it was reduced almost only to disappointments, some may think that it contradicts expectations, some my not share the same opinion, but either way, it was a beautiful way to present such a transition for a young child. In fact, it goes beyond to show how hard for an immigrant (young or old) to integrate into a foreign society (here the grandfather mark a good example).
From what I could’ve understand, the story is a fiction, but related somewhat to the director’s life since he left Lebanon during the civil war when he was ten years old. Following Danielle Arbid and Ziad Doueiri’s way to make peace with their past.


Globally the film was good, make fair use of special effects (I think that funding films in Sweden is easier than Lebanon). Actors were pretty good as well; Antoinette Turk’s (playing Rita) acted nicely,
Imad Creidi’s (as Zozo) role surprised me with his Swedish language and good performance for a child of his age. And then there is Carmen Lebbos, playing perfectly, as she always do, the mother role model.


The script was nicely written from a child eyes, things go smoothly. Though I should point to some minor flaws that come up when trying to see things rationally. For instance, how can a ten years old child go from east Beirut to the mountains (walking??!), then to the airport that easy in a city shredded into two parts? Then once in Sweden writing to Rita without having her address.
In the end I remind that this feature was the representative for Sweden for the 78th academy awards. It needs to be seen since it’s a nicely done good movie.

5. Ghadi (if you haven’t watched it already)

In a small Lebanese costal village, growing fear by the neighbors towards Ghadi, a young special needs boy in their midst forces his father Leba, the town’s only music teacher to concoct a crazy scheme to convince his fellow townspeople that his son is not the “demon” they fear but rather an angel who holds all the answers to their problems.

Watch These 5 Films This Winter Break

1. Kill it and leave this town

2. Assassins

The audacious murder of the brother of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jon Un in a crowded Malaysian airport sparked a worldwide media frenzy. At the center of the investigation are two young women who are either cold-blooded killers or unwitting pawns in a political assassination. ASSASSINS goes beyond the headlines to question every angle of this case, from human trafficking to geo-political espionage to the secretive dynamics of the North Korean dynasty.

“Ryan White’s fascinating documentary chronicles plays like a political thriller with tragic consequences for the two women at its center.” Matt Goldberg, Collider

“It’s a Kafka-esque and sometimes darkly comic tale of deception and exploitation that makes for a smartly assembled and eminently topical film that arrives at a crucial juncture in world affairs…” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

Watch here: https://watch.eventive.org/assassins/play/5fce762c3257c21303cc2c3b

3. MAYOR

MAYOR is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?

4. Soul

On Disney plus … perfect for a family night.

5. Another Round

Best Movies I Watched in 2020

5. Lawrence of Arabia

Come on, you haven’t watched it yet?!

Well, me, I was avoiding it intentionally for years because I don’t want to feel angry. But I had to finally face the ultimate betrayal of Arabs by Great Britain during the The Great Arab Revolt.

The film is an epic, with Anthony Queen, Noor AlShareef, and a conglomerate of Hollywood’s best actors and film makers. Lawrence is a special personality who is more Arab than half of the arabs today in the Arab World. To see a glimpse of his story done right is great.

Off course, historically speaking, he had a less important role that it is shown here, and King Faisal had a much more important role that displayed here. Also, there were many arab heros who were ignored for the purpose of highlighting Lawrence in this film.

Over all it is a great film, and must be seen by at least every Arab.

4. The Climb

What a dark comedy … the intricacies and frustrations of imperfect friendships .. the vulnerabilities of men .. the subtle challenges of life that hurt slowly .. this will leave you happy and sad.

3. My King (Ma Roi)

Abuse and love … this film struggles in the problematic space between them. Science says that what a woman wants and what a woman thinks she wants are two different things. Sometimes they are opposite. Sometimes what we love in a person is also what makes him eventually a monster, the devours us. Epic performance … and if you love Paris, this is so parisian.

2. Joshy (2016)

This is the best American film of this year, and it is so independent and simple, that puts the multi million productions to shame. Another mastered dark comedy that you will relate to. A weekend to make Joshy happy turns into a self discovery for everyone, and a salad of different personality types. Awkward moments weave these scenes … an orchestra with 10 conductors, and no players.

1. Another Round (2020)

This is the guy of THE HUNT. The Hunt is one of the best films I have seen in my life, and this one turns into another Hunt, and makes it to the same list.

I don’t know how Danish or Swedish people think, but definitely they are years ahead in the understanding of the human situation. This shows up in their films, and this film is an epic display of Scandinavian realism.

The theme is about drinking in Western society, but behind the lines and scenes there are much deeper existential themes… so watch carefully and look into the eyes of the actors.

New Category: Films Recommended by Wissam – High Life and The Souvenir

High Life

Director: Claire Denis Run Time: 110 min.

Release Year: 2019

Starring: André Benjamin, Juliette Binoche, Lars Eidinger, Mia Goth, Robert Pattinson

Monte and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of the solar system. They must now rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole.

Film Review: Fire at Sea


Each shot can stand alone as a work of photographic art. It is a documentary film from a third person omnicious point of view. 

The sea here plays a big part of the theme. It is the canvas. It is the life and death. It is the silence. It is the observer and the actor. 

There is no more real encounter of the Mediterranean  refugee crisis of our time better and more vivid than this film. 

True work of Art depicting the true scary face of our vulnerabilities and decaying innocence of our humanity. 

Cicely … the calming sea … the apathetic waves … the simplicity of the island inhabitants, the innocence of childhood … the serenity of boredom … the beauty of Italian traditional music … the peace of family … contrasted with what these waves brings of human suffering ashore. 

Must see. Must present. Must act to end suffering of our species.