By Sara Gomez
By Sara Gomez
Rabat- Several Spanish media outlets have reported widely on the recent controversy in Morocco surrounding the banning of “Much Loved” (Zine li fik), Nabil Ayuch’s latest film, by delivering their unfiltered opinions of the Moroccan public.
Various online media outlets, such as Cadena Ser, El Periodico, El Mundo, and Hoy Cinema, reported the opinions both in support and against of the Ministry of Communication’s decision to ban the film.
The majority of Spanish media outlets directly quoted the Ministry of Communication’s public announcement, saying, “[the] film undermines moral values, and dignity of Moroccan women, and [is] a flagrant attack on the kingdom’s image.”
Following the claim, El Periodico included commentary from the imam of a mosque in Salé who said, “the film incites debauchery among Moroccans and promotes pornography and illegitimate relations: a foreigner kisses a woman and then takes her to the bed, both naked, is that cinema?”
Cadena Ser reported similar commentary from members of the conservative Islamic party. Politicians and military members of the party have been seen in front of the Parliament building chanting, “Ayouch, you coward! Do not insult Moroccan women!” and “No to dirty movies.”
In contrast to the negative feedback that the film’s depiction of four prostitutes in Marrakesh has received from the Moroccan public, some viewers also realize that this movie portrays a very real part of Moroccan culture.
El Periodico also reported that the critic Karim Bujari said, “the problem is not the film, which barely anyone has seen, but the sexual tourism. In Morocco, this form of tourism is not fiction, but reality. Ayuch’s film did not invent it. We know it, we live it, we debate over it and sometimes we even laugh about it, but we refuse to watch it on a TV screen and talk about it with other Moroccans.”
Comments like this show that there are some viewers in the Moroccan public that recognize the reality of the matter—yet admit that they are too scared to face it.
Spanish media also included Ayuch’s own responses to the criticism and banning of his film throughout all outlets. Ayuch says he is “saddened” but not “surprised” by the negative reactions to “Much Loved,” but clarified that the film is in no way pornographic.