by Menatalla Ibrahim
With Qatar still under partial lockdown, we could all use a welcome distraction. Streaming films and shows are a great way to fight back against homebound boredom, and with cinemas temporarily closed, Netflix seems like a great alternative.
If you’re wondering about what to watch, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (and no, no more watching Friends!)
Whatever your mood might be, these 10 Netflix recommendations are worth watching:
#1 MIRACLE CELL NUMBER 7
In the mood to cry? This movie is a real tear jerker.
Miracle Cell Number 7 is a great reminder of the strong bond between a daughter and her father.
Directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin, the 2019 Turkish movie tells a story of a mentally challenged father who was wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Beaten, tortured and falsely accused by those who want him dead, the father attempts to form a special bond with his cell mates, making prison his second home. Meanwhile, his 6 year old daughter fights desperately to save her father from his terrible fate. The movie, which is based on a popular 2013 South Korean film, is an emotional and heartwarming story that grasps the attention of whoever is watching it, and will definitely make you cry.
#2 CRASH LANDING ON YOU
Want to start binge watching K-dramas and have nowhere to start? Crash Landing On You might just be the right choice — but be forewarned; this show is hard to get over.
Directed by Lee Jung-hyo, the third-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history triggers all the right emotions: suspense, sadness, love and happiness. The story follows a beautiful South Korean Chaebol heiress Yoon Se-ri, who is betrayed by her family for power. After accidentally crash-landing in North Korea, Yoon Se-ri is found by a Ri Jeong-Hyeok, a member of the North Korean elite and a Captain in the North Korean Special Police Force. The plot follows Jeong-Hyeok and Se-ri as they try to get her back home. The story will make you laugh, cry, and cheer, but most importantly, you will enjoy every moment of it.
#3 THE ALIENIST
What turns a man to murder? This dark psychological thriller offers an answer while keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Based on Caleb Carr’s bestselling 1994 novel “The Alienist,” the show is set in 19th-century New York and revolves around a series of gruesome, ritualistic child murders. An investigative team led by the brilliant, obsessive Kreizler, attempts to solve the mystery murders using unconventional methods, including psychology and mental pathology.
#4 RESURRECTION: ERTUGRUL
Love, betrayal, war, resurrection — Ertugrul is nothing short of mesmerizing. This is one for fans of history with a little twist.
The series, based on the life and times of the 13th-century Muslim Oghuz Turk leader, Ertugrul, is a Turkish historical action and adventure series that will make it hard for you to turn your laptop off. The story follows Ertugrul, who is the father of Osman I, founder of the Ottman Empire. Fueled by a sense of justice, determination and enthralling love for his religion, the character fights battles and betrayal to plant the seed that would lead to the founding of the Ottman Empire. If you are Arab or Pakistani, chances are you probably heard about the series more than once, or even saw someone cry watching it. Muslims across the world have found an emotional connection to the show, simply because of its strong, fine portrayal of its Muslim characters. It’s the Muslim Game of Thrones.
#5 THE SCHOOL OF MISCHIEFS
Look past the grainy black and white footage and rediscover this gem of Egyptian theatre. The School of Mischiefs is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
The Egyptian play follows a disobedient group of students who have been failing school for almost 14 years, making almost every teacher that tries to tame them leave without looking back. One day, a strict high school teacher volunteers to transform these 5 rascals into model students, and her endless efforts will have you laughing for hours. The play, starring famous Egyptian actors, is a classic and a must watch.
#6 THE IRISHMAN
Casting spectacular actors, The Irishman is nothing short of epic, and well worth the 3.5 hours runtime. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the movie is based on the true story of mob hitman and World War II veteran Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. The film follows Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro, in his later years, reflecting his life story of being involved with the Bufalino crime family.
Do you like complex conspiracies? If so, this German show should definitely be on your list.
Dark is a mystery drama series that twists and turns to make your head turn right from the very first episode. It explores themes of responsibility, free-well, death and multigenerational trauma. The story begins when the disappearance of two children from a German town exposes the relationship among four families. It depicts three different time periods of the town’s history, each connected to one another. The show is full of mysteries, twists and complex time traveling.
#8 THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND
Against all odds, and despite being kicked out of school, a 13 year old boy becomes the hero of his village.
Directed, written by and starring Chiwetel Ejiofo, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is a tale about a young Malawian boy who built a windmill to save his family and village from drought and famine. It describes how a young boy was willing to work hard and challenge all the odds to become a hero. Based on a true story of William Kamkwamba, the movie is full of emotional twists that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
The harrowing story of a woman’s plight to defend herself in modern day India.
Pink, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, is a Hindi thriller that sheds light on contemporary social issues in India. The story follows Minal and her two roommates in a plush south Delhi neighbourhood. While attending a rock concert, their lives are suddenly thrown into disarray when they are cornered by a powerful man and his friends who accuse Minal of attempted murder after she defends herself from unwelcome advances.
#10 FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
The tragedy of war told through the eyes of a child survivor, First They Killed My Father is a rare film that evokes powerful emotions.
Directed by Angelina Jolie, the movie is based on the true story of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung who survived the horrors of the deadly Khmer Rouge as a child. Themes of hunger, death, and brutality makes this movie one of a kind, especially given the emotionally powerful moments that capture your attention to every detail.