Everything You Need to Know About The Controversial Movie “Ashab Wala A’az”
The first Arabic Netflix movie sparks public controversy due to the unusual topics it tackles. Here are the five things you need to know.
1 || Netflix First Arabic Original Movie
Perfect Strangers is the first Arabic film produced by Netflix in collaboration with Front Row. Released on the 20th of January, the movie is available for streaming in over 190 countries.
2 || It is The Arabic Adaption of A Hit Italian Movie
Titled “Ashab Wala A’az”, the movie is the Arabic version of the Italian movie “Perfect Strangers” which was listed in the ‘Guinness World Records’ as the most remade movie in the history of cinema.
3 || The Cast of The Movie
The movie that was filmed in Lebanon is directed by Lebanese first-time director Wissam Smayra and comprises mostly Lebanese stars like Nadine Labaki (May), Georges Khabbaz (Walid), Adel Karam (Ziad), and Diamond Abou Abboud (Jana). The cast also comprises Egyptian star Mona Zaki (Maryam) and Jordanian Eyad Nassar (Sherif).
4 || Lebanese Designs Adorned The Movie’s Premiere
Stars of the movie choose to wear Lebanese designs to the film’s premiere. Mona Zaki looked stunning wearing a Sandy Nour dress matched to Sarah’s Bag clutch, Diamond Abou Abboud wore an elegant black off-shoulder dress by Saiid Kobeisy and the amazing Nadine Labaki choose a unique look by another great Lebanese designer Nemer Saade.
5 || Controversial Movie
Tackling taboos, homosexuality, teenage sex, and cheating, Netflix’s first Arabic movie has sparked a public debate on social media and TV talk shows. Critics in Eygpt and other Middle Eastern countries have denounced the film as a threat to family and religious values encouraging homosexuality and unfit for Arab societies.
And while the film is facing a lot of critics among Egyptians. “I think if it’s a normal foreign movie, I will be ok. But because it’s an Arabic movie, I didn’t accept it,” said 37-year-old Elham, an Egyptian who asked for her last name to be withheld due to the sensitivity of the topic. “We don’t accept the idea of homosexuality or intimate relations before marriage in our society, so what happened was a cultural shock.” It has garnered many positive reviews in Lebanon with people saying that it spots the light on a lot of relatable topics away from stereotypes that are usually attached to gay characters or cheating spouses on screen.
“There’s nothing like the Arab world’s hatred of the truth,” Rabih Farran, a Lebanese journalist, said in a tweet, referring to the backlash.
6 || The Support For Lebanese Designers
The show was real support for several Lebanese designers. All women in the show are wearing from different Lebanese designers. Not only the dresses and jewelry were from local brands, but also so many pieces of furniture were made by Lebanese designers as well!