A film by Nabil Ayouch
Cast: Maryam Touzani, Arieh Worthalter, Amine Ennaji
Five separate narratives set in Casablanca will merge into each other and all hell will break loose.
Nabil Ayouch offers us a film about dreams, trial, acceptance and struggles in the streets of Casablanca. “Happy is he who can act according to his desires” opens the film by a proverb from in Berber. In Razzia, the French-Moroccan director puts together five different stories spanning two-time periods that is going to fit the highly charged theme of the film.
We start out in 1982 in the spectacular setting of the Atlas mountains, in a tiny village where a teacher Abdallah (Amine Ennaji) must bow to the laws of the state and stop teaching in Berber, the only language that his students understand. Soon, the defeated Abdallah who is angry but passive about the news will leave this place, and with it his budding romance with the spirited widow Yto (Nezha Tebbaï). We jump up to 2015 where this beautiful woman Salima (Maryam Touzani) dressed a little provocative for a woman in Morocco who takes a swim well almost in her dress, because a bikini is not allowed over there to protest the law (Men and women are not the same). She goes in a house of her friend named Yto to dance and be free smoke if she wants because at home her boyfriend does not want her to work nor smoke or dance. I guess just sit there and look pretty. Elyas (Abdellah Didane) the son of Yto who works as a bartender has this house full of memorabilia of Casablanca the film with Bogart. Then you have Hakim (Abdelilah Rachid), faces different problems, as his family and neighbours in the city’s working-class Medina district stand in the way of his dreams of becoming a rock star like Freddie Mercury. And Inès (Dounia Binebine) who lives a charmed life is lonely and trying to find her identity in all that. All those stories will merge at the end where all hell is going to break loose. A terrific puzzled film with beautiful cinematography at its purest form. The director here shines as usual in hoping he does for the rest of his career. He knows how get the actor there playing emotional part and well as he knows how to write them. Do not miss this one. Plus a perfect ending to go with it.