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.
A film by Nabil Ayouch
Cast: Loubna Abidar, Asmaa Lazrak, Halima Karaouane
In their small apartment Marrakech, Noha, Soukaina and Randa are getting ready for the evening, but the party to which they are invited nothing glamorous as they were incurred as escort girls or maybe more, by rich Saudi Arabian men.
The opening scene of this film is a bunch of women who talks openly about sex, nothing wrong with that because in our society now days it is a common thing, but this take place in Morocco and there is a no-no. Women are not allowed to be independent must get married to depend on a man , sometimes it is an arrange marriage not anymore those days but women are not allowed to talk sex in the open like that. Those women are different they want to be independent but they are prostitutes . Here is a film that is ban in Morocco because of the subject matter. So Avouch sold it over seas.
Avouch hold no punches here it is the brutal realty of prostitution in Morocco today. It is gruesome, real, and dead on. The film feels like a documentary and you see what those prostitutes endure during the process of giving themselves for money. Humiliation, violence, there is kind of desperation. The choice of the subject matter is bold and raw at its purest form. An image of fantasy with the easy money flowing afloat at parties in the luxurious villas of wealthy clients, but also everyday reality far more thankless where, despite some financial autonomy, women are trapped in a lifestyle that slowly destroys their self-esteem Neither preachy nor pessimistic, the film does not shrink the complexity of real life situations experienced by its protagonists, on which the director presents a look of empathy. The director film it in such a way like a lot of close up to see their facial expression. When they have privacy and some quiet times, their faces reveal the personality of each: Noha, big sister, whose protective instincts; Randa, introverted, rebellious and open questioning of his own sexuality. Soukaina, is softer, trying to coexist and has a lucid version of love; and finally Hlima, honest and simple in connection to the world. The director film their lives where at times they can’t stand each other, where they are abuse, and dreaming of a new world where thy are respectable women with money and independent with a respectable job. Life as a prostitute it is not an easy job but it is easy money. And in Morocco when Noha tries to get back to se her mother and her son the mother condemn her but take her money without scruples. That is the gruesome reality in Morocco. They all wants to be loved and want a normal life where they can be respectable but prisoner of their own job. The actors are so natural here is so enjoyable to see.