We at Ajyal know that there is nothing more complex than that period of transition known as the teenage years. With this in mind, our comprehensive programme includes a slate of films especially catered to soon-to-be adults. Here are five titles teenagers should not miss out on:
Life seems peaceful and normal in a high school, but in its corridors, beneath a façade of respectability, something terribly wrong is going on. Based on a popular book by celebrated Dutch author Carry Slee, ‘Regret’ sharply and sensitively addresses the scourge of school bullying – unfortunately a timely and relevant topic – and ultimately encourages people to speak up and take action before it’s too late.
Touch of the Light (PG):
Presented by legendary Hong-Kong director Wong Kar-wai, ‘Touch of the Light’ is a powerful inspirational story based upon the real-life story of Taiwanese piano prodigy Huang Yu-Siang (who, remarkably, both plays himself in the film and composed the film’s score). The film tracks the parallel lives of Siang, who leaves his rural home to attend university in the city, and Jie, a beautiful but unhappy girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, as they inspire each other to pursue their dreams against all odds.
Winner of two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, ‘Kauwboy’ is at once a moving coming-of-age drama, an emotional character study, and an impressionistic portrait of the challenging relationship between a father and his son as they struggle to regain the happiness and tenderness they have somehow lost along the way.
When I Saw You (PG-13):
Set in Jordan in the late ‘60s, in one of the many camps where thousands of refugees took shelter after they were driven out of Palestine, Annemarie Jacir’s ‘When I Saw You” looks at the occupation of Palestine and the plight of the people it displaced from an original and moving angle, focusing on the paradigmatic, unyielding desire of a young Palestinian to go back to his home and reunite with his dad.
Mike Says Goodbye (PG-13):
After spending months in hospital, 10-year-old Mike is responding well to therapy and can finally go home, but a heartless childcare inspector (who resembles a real-life Cruella de Vil) wants to send him to live with another family. Mike will have to come up with some unconventional strategies to foil her plans and celebrate Christmas with his mum. ‘Mike Says Goodbye!’ is a modern-day fairytale that skillfully balances comedy and drama, displaying a light, ultimately uplifting tone despite its serious topic.