Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A new Moroccan cinema built on broken taboos

"There are still plenty of taboos in Arab societies and most of them have to do with women. [...]

"The strength of Latif Lahlou's latest film, 'Samira fi Dayaa (Samira's Garden),' lies in the manner with which the veteran director, who also co-wrote the screenplay, takes one obvious taboo and coils another one inside of it. The film breaks the first one quite easily, and acknowledges that it was already critically cracked long ago. But once those pieces fall open, viewers are left with a second taboo - a man's refusal to deal with the fact that his own sexual agency has failed him - that proves more difficult to dismantle.

" Samira's Garden screened at the Marrakesh International Film Festival on Sunday and is the only Moroccan movie being fielded in the competition. (It already scooped a critics' guild prize at this year's Films of the World Festival in Montreal, along with two acting awards at the Moroccan National Film Festival in Tangier two months ago). To hang the weight of a country's burgeoning cinema scene on a film about impotency would seem a daring move, but fortuitously Lahlou's is a daring film. [...]"

Source: Daily Star (Lebanon), December 14, 2007