Rabat – Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch’s latest film, ‘Razzia‘, has been chosen to compete as Morocco’s entry in the pre-selections for Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars, according to the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM).
A selection committee chaired by the writer and painter Mahi Binebine chose ‘Razzia’ to represent Morocco, as it meets the established criteria of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the CCM said in a statement on Friday.
‘Razzia’ is set in Ouarzazate, the Atlas Mountains, and Casablanca. It is composed of five separate stories, one of which takes place in the 1980s in the Atlas Mountains. The remaining four storylines play out in present-day Casablanca.
In an interview with weekly American entertainment magazine Variety, Ayouch explained that ‘Razzia’ tackles social issues like the differences between the upper and lower classes, as well as freedom of speech, an issue that he said concerns all Moroccans regardless of their socio-economic status. The film also deals with the intolerance between social groups and “the increasing tendency that lead them to [hold] contempt [for] each other.”
“These are dangerous times throughout the world,” Ayouch said. “We have seen this with the election of Donald Trump in the US 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.