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Morocco-related Film

     I LOVE HIP HOP IN MOROCCO. In 2004, Josh received a Fulbright grant to study the effects of American Hip Hop on Moroccan youth culture. He linked up with Jenn, who was a film student at the time, and the idea for I LOVE HIP HOP IN MOROCCO was born and blossomed.

     Crossing Borders  is a seventy minute documentary that follows four Moroccan and four American university students as they travel together through Morocco and, in the process of discovering “The Other.” discover themselves. With group travels and frank discussions, the students confront the complex implications of the supposed “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West. The relationships formed through shared experiences contrast sharply with the media-shaped views Americans and Muslims have of each other. Humor, honesty and a willingness to be challenged all bring individuals closer to each other and the relationships that develop disarm hidden stereotypes.

     Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival


     CASABLANCA MON AMOUR - feature film directed by Morocco RPCV, John Slattery. John Slattery (RPCV Mohammedia 94-96) is now in post-production on the feature length documentary Casablanca Mon Amour. Filmed in :Casablanca, Mohammedia, Rabat, Meknes, Azrou, Midelt, Errachidia, Aoufous, Erfoud, Jorf, Marzouga, Tinerhir, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essouaria, and lots more places along the way.

Synopsis of Story: Two Moroccan college students take a journey from Casablanca over the Atlas Mountains, to the Sahara Desert with an American film crew from Hollywood. Along the way they discover a ‘new’ Morocco: One much different than seen in favorite Hollywood films.

From Casablanca in 1942, to Jewel of the Nile, Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great, and The Mummy, today… Hollywood has used Morocco as a location for making The Great American Movie and telling The Great American Story. Morocco once used as the “Middle–East” and “Arabia” is now Hollywood’s “Baghdad.” Being one of Hollywood’s most useful movie back lots, Morocco has become the set where America tells its story. And so Casablanca Mon Amour uses this ‘set’ in a playful and imaginative way to tell a new story.

Casablanca Mon Amour, in Arabic, French and English, ventures into rarely seen terrain — the real lives of modern young Moroccans — to tell a story about them, and us (America). Casablanca Mon Amour offers more than a dry critique of the impact of media on culture. Instead, the film takes a poignant and humorous look at the effects Hollywood films have on people’s imaginations and offers Moroccan’s (our movie set ‘extras’) an opportunity to talk back— and they do so in intelligent, witty and wildly ingenious ways.

Casablanca Mon Amour encapsulates the more complex and fractured nature of living in a world where movies and wars compete for headlines and occupy imaginations. Casablanca Mon Amour works to broaden understanding and does what much of our movies have failed to do: offer a mirror reflecting back an image of America in a region of the world where we rarely see the real “them” and they never see the real “us.”

Filmed in lush Super16mm and featuring the world famous Malhun of Meknes musicians. LINK to film's website with trailers:

For more info about Casablanca Mon Amour feel free to contact John Slattery at:

     Bridges Between Cultures Video Filmed and Produced by Morocco RPCV, Dan Cahill post 9/11

     John and Monica Potyondy's Excellent Adventure slide show set to music of 1970-73 Peace Corps service CAUTION: Large 70MB file

     Tenja (Morocco, Directed by Hassan Legzouli, 2004, 80 minutes)
French-born Nordine (Roschdy Zem), devoted son of a Moroccan immigrant miner, sets off from his home in northern France to fulfill his patriarch father’s last wish – to be buried in his family village in the Atlas Mountains. This is Nordine’s first visit to the land of his forefathers, a land he knows only through family stories – at least until he meets the competent and alluring Nora (Aure Atika), in search of new horizons as she escapes from a comfortable life as a kept woman. Nora joins him on the road, and they progress south through the expansive, aridly beautiful landscape with the corpse of his deceased father in the back of the van, a situation that leads to some wry humor. Before too long, a tentative but mutual attraction develops between Nordine and Nora, as Nordine works through his sometimes idealized, sometimes erroneous ideas of what it means to be Moroccan. Tenja is a highly satisfying and memorable film. –Seattle International Film Festival 2005

     Arabfilm,com. promotes and distributes the cinemas of the Arab world in North America. Distributor of these Moroccan films:
• Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets Nabil Ayouch, 2000, 90 minutes
• Door to the Sky Farida Ben Lyzaid, 1989, 107 minutes
• Boujad: A Nest in the Heat / Whispers Hakim Belabbes, 1992 / 1999, 45 minutes / 15 minutes
• Bride Market of Imilchil, The
Beat of Distant Hearts: Art of Revolution in Western Sahara 1999

     First Run / Icarus Films is a leading distributor of documentary film and video. Our 875 titles, mostly independent productions, provide innovative and informative views of a rapidly changing world. Morocco-related offerings include:
• Ben Barka A biography of Moroccan opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka, abducted on the streets of Paris and murdered in 1965
• Lutes and Delights
Combining Arab and Moroccan poetry with accents from flamenco, Abdesadek Chekara and his orchestra, famous throughout Morocco, are among the most faithful interpreters of Arab-Andalusian music.
• Gnaouas Morocco, Body and Soul Gnaouas A Film by Izza Genini Part of the MOROCCO, BODY AND SOUL series of half ...
• Morocco, Body and Soul Series Additional releases in Izza Genini's collection of lyrical films about Moroccan music and culture.
• Hymns of Praise Morocco, Body and Soul Hymns of Praise A Film by Izza Genini Part of the MOROCCO, BODY AND SOUL series ...
• Aita Part of the MOROCCO, BODY AND SOUL series of half hour films which present various musical genres being performed in the environments which fostered them.
• The Virgin Diaries
Two young women journey through Morocco in search of answers to their questions about virginity, sex and Islam.
• Airs in Berberland Part II
Morocco, Body and Soul Airs in Berberland Part II Nuptials in the Middle Atlas A Film by Izza Genini ...
• Saints and Spirits Explores the personal dimensions of Islam during three religious events in Morocco.
• Malhoune The musical sessions, which occur "as often as the day rises" in Marrakech and in Meknes, are the living forerunners of Moroccan popular poetry.
• Airs in Berberland Part I Morocco, Body and Soul Airs in Berberland Part I Vibrations in the High Atlas A Film by Izza Genini ...
• Arab Diaries
A five-part documentary series that presents a fresh, insightful picture of contemporary life across the Arab world. ... , Palestine, morocco, Algeria, North Africa, Islam, Muslim, Iraq, ...
• Women in the Middle East
A series that explores the changing roles of women in the Arab world. ... events in morocco. A VEILED REVOLUTION - Considers the ...
• Videos and films with video clips Award winning collection of films and videos ... , famous throughout morocco, are among the most faithful interpreters ...
• Home, or Maids in My Family A Moroccan woman confronts her liberal bourgeois family and their servants about the relationship between them (Arab Diaries).
• The Films of Elizabeth Fernea
Seven films from the writer and filmmaker whose work focuses on the Middle East, particularly women and the family.
... events in morocco (1979).

     Film Movement a subscription service offering past films for subscribers: $19.95 Non-Subscribers: $29.95

Le Grand Voyage A few weeks before his college entrance exams, Réda (Nicolas Cazale), a young man who lives in the south of France, finds himself obligated to drive his father to Mecca. The wide cultural and generational gap between the two is worsened by their lack of communication. Réda finds it hard to accommodate his father, who demands respect for himself and his pilgrimage. From France, through Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan to Saudi Arabia, the two embark on a road trip that will change their lives.

Ali Zaoua Ali, Kwita, Omar, and Boukber are a group of street urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca. Their everyday lives are filled with violence, begging, and indifference. In order to survive they create a bond of friendship and family between then. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed at the beginning of the film by a blow to the head; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali`s friends decide not to report his death to the police, who would have the boy buried in a potter`s field. Instead they decide to give him a worthy burial, to bury Ali on the private island he so often dreamed of. Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances.

Raja Raja is a nineteen year old orphan literally and figuratively scarred by life. Fred is an emotionally bankrupt westerner living amid his plush gardens and palm trees. Set against the backdrop of contemporary Marrakech, Raja is a cross-cultural drama about a wealthy middle-aged Frenchman’s complex relationship with local youth. Fred’s attempts to seduce Raja, and their mutual attempt at manipulation, are fractured by their gross disparity of income, age and cultural sophistication

     The Music of Morocco and the Cycles of Life is a 50-minute documentary film that explores the unique and powerful connection between traditional music and Moroccan rites of passage. From the birth of a baby until the last living breath, melody and rhythm surround and shape the lives of all Moroccans. It is available for purchase in DVD for $30

The film was directed and produced by DePaul University of Chicago music faculty member, Victoria Vorreiter. In the documentary, Vorreiter notes the North African country has a range in culture, and thus, music—from "ornate Arab to simple Berber melodies." Since the "country [is] at a cultural and historical crossroads [of] the Arab world…Sub-Saharan Africa, all major Mediterranean civilizations and Islamic culture, its musical heritage is exceptionally diverse," said Vorreiter.

"When you look at the arts, music is unique because of its extraordinary transformative power. Melody and rhythm are immediately able to penetrate to the core of our being. Music ritual marks every rite of passage in our lives, from a baby in the womb until our last living breath. This is especially so in Morocco, a country where the oral tradition is centuries old and still very strong," explains Vorreiter.

Vorreiter has long been drawn to Morocco, one of the most westernized Islamic countries, for its rich musical heritage. "Morocco's strategic location in the northwest corner of Africa places the country at a historical and cultural crossroads. So throughout the centuries the indigenous Berber tribes became influenced by the Arab world, Islamic culture, Sub-Saharan Africa, and all major Mediterranean civilizations. This means the music of Morocco is amazingly diverse. There is a fantastic mix of tradition" Berber chanting, Koranic recitation, Andalusion ensembles from Spain, trance music of Sufi brotherhoods, and music of the famed blue men of the desert, the Tuareg, “describes Vorreiter.

"Because I was doing this entirely alone, and as a woman, I was able to move very discretely and had access to privileged situations. People would welcome me into their homes. For example, I was able to tape grandmothers singing ancient lullabies to their children. I filmed an all-night double wedding in a small Berber village. And I recorded the Moussem in Fes, a festival where tens of thousands of people come to celebrate with music the life after death of a saint in a symbolic funeral procession. Music accompanies all the important moments in life."

     Film Makers Library:  For the past twenty-five years we have have been developing a collection of award-winning documentary films and videos primarily for educational use. Throughout our site you will see the many subjects we cover, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, women's studies and multicultural issues. Titles from our collection are available for rental or sale to universities, schools, museums, businesses and community groups.  Moroccan Films in collection include:  Morocco: The Past And Present of Djemma el FnaProduced by Steven Montgomery and Women of the Arab World series:  3. Morocco: The Rights of Women

     At your local video Store (maybe) :

Casablanca Dramas, English , 1942, B&W, 103 min. NTSC, Rating: PG (MPAA), CC
World War II Casablanca is the setting for this Academy Award winning classic. Humphrey Bogart is an American expatriate and war profiteer, content to merely run the Cafe Americain until love inspires him to stand up for the French Resistance. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Actor--Humphrey Bogart, Best Supporting Actor--Claude Rains. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best (Adapted) Screenplay (Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch).

Hideous Kinky Gillies MacKinnon's film about a single mother (Kate Winslet) and her identity-seeking trip to Morocco in the drug-hazy days of the early 1970s. Based on a the novel by Esther Freud, the movie changes the names of the children to Bea and Lucy and the mother to Julia. Escaping an unsatisfying life in England, which includes an estranged boyfriend and a drab apartment in South London, Julia and her two daughters arrive in Marrakech. It isn't long before Julia and her girls become enthralled by a street tumbler called Bilal, who becomes Mom's lover. -- Desson Howe, Washington Post staff.  R.   Runtime:  1:37

Ishtar  Comedies, English , 1987, Color, 107 min. NTSC, Rating: PG-13 (MPAA), CC
Two songwriters struggle to make it in 'The Big Apple.' their agent believes they should go far -- away. Finally booking a gig in Morocco, they find themselves caught in a crossfire between a beautiful left-wing CIA agent and enemy forces. A would-be road picture ala Hope and Crosby.



Morocco  Action/Adventure, English , 1930, B&W, 92 min. NTSC, Rating: Not Rated
A truly romantic film in which Josef von Sternberg, obsessed with visual beauty, creates a universe in which passion is the governing principle. Certainly the visual exoticism is thick enough to taste--in layers yet.   Dietrich made her Hollywood bow as the café chanteuse Amy Jolly, who drops the patronage of an older gentleman of means so she can become a camp follower to a Foreign Legionnaire. The sexual tension generated by Cooper and Dietrich makes today's steamy love stories look impoverished; the brazenly outrageous ending still provides an astonishing climax. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Director, Best Actress--Marlene Dietrich.

A Night in Casablanca 1946; 84 minutes
The boys (Grocho Marx and the Marx Brothers) are involved in North African intrigue, but they get off enough humor to please their most ardent followers. Director Archie Mayo

The Sheltering Sky Dramas, English , 1990, Color, 139 min. NTSC, Rating: R (MPAA), CC
An exploration of the tender but turbulent relationship of a married American couple who are lifelong travelers. Joined by their socialite friend, they journey to Tangier and the Sahara, where the ancient desert cultures transform the trio profoundly, drawing them toward their limits of endurance and passion.  The cinematography by Vittorio Storaro is breathtakingly beautiful, the music by Ryuichi Sakamoto is hauntingly provocative. Paul Bowles narrates this film (from his novel), about three lost souls, sex-starved intellectuals who think it's a lark to visit North Africa after WWII. They whine and wander and wound each other with their witty words. It's often tiresome but the good moments outshine the bad. Director Bernardo Bertolucci

The Wind and the Lion Action/Adventure, English , 1975, Color, 120 min. NTSC, Rating: PG (MPAA)
Old-fashioned excursion into America's protoimperialist era ('04). Candice Bergen is an American lady abducted by Berber bandit, autodidact, and self- proclaimed deity Sean Connery, while Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Keith) dispatches the Marines to get her back. Set in turn-of-the-century Morocco.  Academy Award Nominations: Best Sound, Best Original Score.



Outpost in Morocco with George Raft.  1949.  This sturdy action picture stars George Raft as Gerard, a dashing Foreign Legionnaire whom the ladies can't resist. When he is assigned the job of escorting the lovely daughter (Marie Windsor) of the emir of Bel Rashad back to her father's palace, the two fall in love en route. Unfortunately, trouble is brewing at the palace and Gerard's happiness fades when he realizes the emir is in the final stages of launching a massive uprising. Faced with a serious dilemma, Gerard has to decide whether or not to ride off and rouse the troops against his own potential father-in-law (played by Eduard Franz).

Director Robert Florey gets lots of moody flavor out of the Moroccan desert landscapes, and the action flows nicely with the aid of some witty dialogue. The rousing battle scenes are filled with actual legionnaires and Bedouin Cavalry riders who were used as extras.

The Man who knew too much by Alfred Hitchcock.  Review by FOM member Dan Cahill as published in Summer 2002 Newsletter.

An American couple traveling in Marrakech find themselves entangled in a murderous conspiracy that takes them to London in search of answers, and their kidnapped son. This thriller is exciting, tense, funny and hugely entertaining. James Stewart and Doris Day star in this big budget ‘50s classic.

Filmed in Morocco:  BlackHawk Down, Mummy Returns, Dune, The Man who would be King

Other Moroccan Film Contacts and information

The Cinematographic Center Moroccan (CCM), created in 1944 and reorganized in 1977, has as a principal role the organization and the promotion of cinematographic industry in Morocco.  It takes care of the application of the legislation and the regulation concerning all the trades of the sector. The CCM provides:  1) the authorization of exercise with producer and distributor (cinema and video), with operator of movie theater de cinéma and with club video, 2) the authorization of turning of film, 3)   professional registration, and film export permits.

History of Cinema in Morocco  Ces pages ont été réalisées par Fassi Fihri Ijlal et El Farouki Chiraz, dans le cadre de leur projet de fin d'études pour l'obtention d'un diplôme d'Informatiste de l'Ecole des Sciences de l'Information (ESI), sous la supervision de Najib Ben Seffaj et Gherras Brahim. c. 1997.

Un peu d'histoire
Films Marocaine
Films etrangers tournee au Maroc

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