This Tuesday, June 21, marks Father’s Day in Egypt. Fatherhood is a complex experience that deserves attention. Our relationships with our fathers can be life-shaping, even influencing the relationship we have with our children. The bond, or the lack thereof, between fathers and their children can be beautiful, painful, complex, or all at the same time. In honour of this relationship, we’re recommending the best films that capture the love, devotion, and complexity of this relationship.
Starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy revolves around a father-and-son relationship strained by the son’s drug addiction. Delving deeply into the horrors of drug use, the destruction and the repetitiveness in the endless recovery journey, the film captures it all through the lens of a father’s love for his child, powerfully performed by the two actors.
Directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish is unsurprisingly a mosaic of fantasy, fairy tales, larger-than-life imagery, and a luminous visual world. At the heart of all of it, Big Fish is about a son’s desperate journey to find his father, of knowing his father, with a ticking time-bomb that makes every passing second in his dying father’s life irreplaceable. The film blurs the line between facts and lies, fantasy and reality, but what it does most beautifully is portray the best and worst of humanity in a single relationship, which perhaps echoes millions before it.
Life is Beautiful
One of the most acclaimed Italian films of the 21st century, Life is Beautiful, or La Vita è Bella, portrays a Jewish family whose life is turned upside down when the fascists gain power and send them to camps. Amidst the horror, because of and in spite of it, humour, story-making, and games are invented by the father to shield his boy from the horrors they have to endure.
The Best of Times
While the central relationship in The Best of Times/Ahla El Awkat is the friendship between the three main female leads, the main character’s relationship with her father and step-father is a remarkable point in her journey. The film is a love letter not just to friendship, but to fatherhood, by blood or otherwise.