Documentaries and Asian films, typify the IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) this year. But also quite a number of films from the Middle East are on display at this year’s festival. We’ve made a list of five films that are definitely worth a visit.

1. Beyond Sleep

A film version of the book Beyond Sleep by WF Hermans, a name that Dutch students will remember from their reading list. The film takes us to Lapland, where geology student Alfred goes on expedition. Beautiful images and good acting will make it almost feel like you’re there.

2. Facebookistan

A life without Facebook is hard to imagine for most of us, but what kind of company is Facebook? This Danish documentary gives you a look behind the scenes. What happens when you break the rules of the website, and is Facebook not actually a totalitarian system? The documentary tries to answer these questions. The only party you won’t be hearing from is Facebook itself.

3. Paradise

Filming without a license in Iran can be quite risky. Ataeian Dena did it anyway for his film Paradise. The film gives a glimpse into the lives of working women in Iran. We follow the twenty-five-year-old teacher Hanieh, who teaches the female youth of Iran which rules they must follow. In addition, the film also shows that violence and intimidation have a role in every culture, and we all play a part in that, whether we like it or not.

4. The Event

1991, the year of the fall of the USSR. This documentary shows what preceded this fall. With images of street protests and the August Coup the confusion and turmoil of the period is portrayed. With images of Putin before he came to power, and a story about how all the certainties in life can become uncertain, this documentary is one of the most interesting and educational screenings at the festival.

5. A Good American

A combination of documentary and thriller, that’s how you could best describe A Good American. Former employee of the US Secret Service, Bill kiney paints a picture of the situation before the revelations of Snowden. How was it during the cold war? And before the computer age? Could they have prevented 9/11? The documentary tries to answer all these questions.