Rabat - Following his controversial movie “Much Loved,” better known as “Zin Li Fik,” Moroccan-French filmmaker Nabil Ayouch is getting set to release a new feature-length film entitled “Razzia,” in which he tackles “social injustice in Morocco.”
Rabat – Following his controversial movie “Much Loved,” better known as “Zin Li Fik,” Moroccan-French filmmaker Nabil Ayouch is getting set to release a new feature-length film entitled “Razzia,” in which he tackles “social injustice in Morocco.”
In an interview with weekly American entertainment magazine Variety, Ayouch revealed that “Razzia” is primarily focused on social issues such as the difference between upper and lower classes and freedom of speech, an issue that concerns all Moroccans, regardless of their social status. In addition, the film deals with the intolerance between social groups and “the increasing tendency that lead them to contempt each other.”
“These are dangerous times throughout the world, ”Ayouch was quoted by Variety as saying. “We have seen this with the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. and the rise of the far right in Hungary, Austria and France. Demagogy is leading in a new way, and there’s a new form of cultural hegemony – we’re seeing similar trends in the Arab world.”
“Razzia” is set in Ouarzazate, the Atlas Mountains and Casablanca. It is composed of five separate stories, one of which dates back to the 1980s in the Atlas Mountains. The remaining four storylines take place in present day Casablanca.
“Razzia” and “Casablanca”
For Ayouch, the intent of “Razzia,” is to pay a tribute to Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital. “Razzia,” is also partially a “reference to the blockbuster 1942 classics “Casablanca,” which co-starred by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.”
“In both films, people are fighting against an ideology,” Ayouch said. “They’re fighting against Nazism in ‘Casablanca’ and in my film they are also trying to resist. The analogy is very clear.”
With respect to his new movie’s setting of Casablanca and the inevitable comparison between the plot of both “Razzia”, and “Casablanca”, Ayouch said, “My film will be a tribute but also a way of taking back what is ours. Casablanca was shot completely in L.A. and shows nothing of the true city, but even some locals in Casablanca are convinced that their streets hosted the original production.”
Women in Moroccan society
In an attempt to shed light on the role of women in Moroccan society and her social status, “Razzia” portrays the modern Moroccan woman as she is, “oppressed” in the quest for her freedom. It’s also a condemnation of continuing social norms that do not allow her to choose her own lifestyle. Therefore, “the woman will move to start a new life far from her husband,” Ayouch said.
Role of teacher in building a common society
Ayouch also didn’t miss the opportunity to highlight the major role that education plays in building a society. He views the defeat of the teacher role in “Razzia” as the epitome of the failure of the entire society. “The teacher works in a little school in an isolated village in the Atlas Mountain range. [When we meet him] he has been suspended by authorities, as part of the country’s educational reforms of 1982.”
Ayouch celebrates the burning desire of this teacher for educating the students. “The teacher is full of dreams to transmit his vision to children, to make them better people… and he is able to do so until the authorities stop him, by means of the educational reforms introduced in 1982.”
Ayouch continued his remarks on the educational system, saying, “I believe that there was a crucial change in mindsets in the early 1980s, which changed education systems throughout the world and has had a major impact on the world of today,”
“The education system turned its back on the humanities. This happened throughout the Maghreb region. In Morocco, disciplines such as sociology and philosophy were taken off the curriculum. We are now suffering the consequences. We’re building a new kind of human being,” he added.
Edited by Constance Guindon