Morocco is no stranger to film crews, and with homegrown talent and films often premiering at international film festivals, including the Festival de Cannes, the film industry here is booming. Moroccan-made films like Horses of God and Much Loved (by Nabil Avouch) and Marock (by Leila Marrakech) have made international headlines, as many directors focus on themes present in daily life – struggle, poverty, societal pressures, and more. Though not for the faint-hearted, these releases tend to be thought provoking and give a glimpse into local life.
Wechma (Traces), Hamid Bénani, 1970
Released in 1970 and directed by Moroccan director and screenwriter Hamid Bénani, Wechma (in Arabic), or Traces in English, as it is known, is a sad tale of Messaoud, a young rebel oppressed both within his family unit and a debilitating society, leads him to a life of crime that eventually ends in tragedy. Critics agree that this important film marks the beginning of a modern cinematography movement in Morocco.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Les Mille et Une Mains (A Thousand And One Hand), Souhel Ben Barka, 1973
This full-length feature film tells the story of dyer Moha and his son Miloud, the working conditions in which they are subjected to, and the men, women, and even young girls involved in the carpet weaving process. Given the conditions, Moha falls victim to an accident, leaving his son to take over. But given the conditions and the lack of interest by those involved to improve conditions, Miloud decides to leave the industry despite facing unemployment. That is, until he eventually decides to get revenge. This is Ben Barka’s first full-length fiction film.
Mille Mois (A Thousand Months), Faouzi Bensaïdi, 2003
French-Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi screened this drama during the Un Certain Regard section of the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, in which he also appeared in the film in the role of Samir. This sad tale is set during the holy month of Ramadan in 1981 when, following her husband’s arrest for political reasons, Amina and her seven-year-old son head off to live with her father-in-law in a remote village. And throughout it all, the arrest must remain a secret to young Mehdi who believes his father has travelled to France for work.
Horses of God, Nabil Ayouch
Released in 2012 under the original title Les Chevaux de Dieu, this extremely sad tale of poverty, violence, and crime tells the fictional tale of those responsible for the Casablanca bombings in 2006. Based on the novel by Moroccan writer and artist Mahi Binebine and directed by Nabil Ayouch, the film won several awards and was the Moroccan entry in the 2013 Academy Awards.
Marock, Laïla Marrakchi
Also screened during the Un Certain Regard section during the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, Marock is Laïla Marrakchi’s first full-length feature film. The film centers around two young lovers in Casablanca, one Muslim named Rita, the other Jewish and named Youri, and touches on themes of hypocrisy, Judeo-Arab relations, and arranged marriages – which was rather controversial at the time of its release. Nevertheless, the film was screened throughout Morocco without being censored.
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