The Marrakech Film Festival is an important event for the Moroccan cinema industry, which nowadays produces around 25 films a year. The government now supports film-makers both financially and politically and in the current climate it has become possible to deal with themes that would not have been acceptable in the past, like domestic violence, poverty and sex.
‘Andalusia, My Love’ is about two students dreaming of a better life in Europe. The director, Mohamed Nadif said: “I notice that Moroccans who live abroad, sometimes that allows us to compare, to see what’s happening elsewhere in comparison to what’s happening at home, and we also notice change.”
‘The Rif Lover’ is about a rebellious girl who takes up with a drugs baron. The director, Narjiss Nejjar, said: “If you knew the number of Moroccan films today that are extremely subversive and which rub the country up the wrong way. But these films are there to help, so they shouldn’t be censored. There’s a real willingness to tell stories today, to use this freedom that we’re gradually winning.”
‘Casanegra’ is about two unemployed men and their struggles to survive. The director, Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, said: “We don’t make films just to please a French or a Middle Eastern co-producer, we make films for us and think that today if we’re going to call ourselves artists, we have to take responsibility for expressing our point of view, our opinion.”