Survey of Morocco in disaster

Survey of Morocco in disaster

Deserts This film, written by Faouzi Bensaïdi, is called his sixth feature film, and it happens to represent these remote rural places with ancient buildings that suffered the most from the earthquake that occurred in Morocco last September 8. There are echoes of this very contemporary social, economic and geographical reality, but at the same time they are echoes that arrive muffled by the strangeness of the film, a two-hour crossing across an enormous cinematic space: it moves from social realism to social realism. Western, including farce and meditative fugue.

It begins with a very revealing and symbolic shot: a map unfolded to screen size, a map of southern Morocco flying away in the desert wind, two figures in petrol blue suits trying to pick it up, but it’s a wasted effort, and they go back. To their old Renault and off they go again. These two heroes, or rather anti-heroes, were imagined by the director while he was observing in Marrakesh in a hotel restaurant two men dressed in identical clothes and equipped with suitcases. They work for a collection agency based in Casablanca, and are responsible for repaying the loans of debtor subscribers who have not repaid their loans. Unfortunately, they have inherited the most complicated area, a group of villages scattered in the mountains, where they are trying to track down bad financiers: a grocer with a store abandoned due to the mass exodus, and a family of cattle ranchers who can only provide a rug or a rug. Anza, an alcoholic hairdresser, no longer opens a shop and is forced to take a comb and scissors, an old couple whose son has left to try his luck on the other side of the Mediterranean. Lots of tragicomedy depicting Morocco’s situation torn between two poles: the large, populated city and the empty rural centre, with social violence taking place between the two, a class violence revealed and reinforced by the earthquake, which primarily destroyed society. Traditional buildings inhabited by the less affluent.

A multifaceted film

This diversity, this division, is present in this title, “deserts,” plural. There are many deserts in the film: the geographical deserts, which the characters navigate up and down, the symbolic and emotional deserts of these anti-heroes who themselves struggle daily to integrate into the Casablanca society to which they aspire; Or cinematic, western, or Road trip. The dominant genres among the many genres that run through fiction, a story that is complete and expansive, allows for completely unexpected interruptions in form and tone: sometimes comical, sometimes almost choreographed, and then, halfway through the film, we suddenly leave the main thread between two of us friends to follow in the footsteps of a character A brand new, mute serial killer from the hills, on a poetic and mysterious journey.

Faouzi Bensaïdi depicts on a large scale, the widest form, the form that depicts large, adventurous frescoes, the form that gives pride of place to the immensity of the landscape, in wide, static and sometimes hallucinatory shots, for example of this village clinging to the mountain, where the two heroes must The two tiny termites, photographed from afar, were able to slide and climb slopes and makeshift ladders. All these places are filmed in such a way that we sometimes don’t know whether they are under construction or in ruins, both of which undoubtedly take on a certain fragility on screen, in this context. It is disturbing to note the film’s interest in places and architecture, in the way that makes them the preferred means of social and symbolic representation of Morocco. The film was shown in Cannes, but I imagine that we see it today in a completely different way after the earthquake and after seeing the pictures of the disaster that were circulated. He finds himself stressed by the coincidence of current events.

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