Cinema: “High and strong”, splendors and miseries of Moroccan youth

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(AFP) – Between documentary and fiction, the Franco-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch paints, in “Haut et fort”, the portrait of a moribund Moroccan youth and penniless trying to find her place thanks to rap.

In theaters Wednesday, the director’s film had the honors of the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival in July, a first for him, from where he left empty-handed.

Accustomed to the Croisette, he had already presented two films there in parallel sections: “Les Chevaux de Dieu” (2012) and “Much Loved” (2015), which had caused a stir. Focused on the world of prostitution, it had been banned in the Cherifian kingdom.

With “Haut et fort”, his seventh feature film, the viewer follows the daily life of Anas (Anas Basbousi) who runs a hip-hop workshop with boys and girls in a cultural center in Sidi Moumen, a disadvantaged suburb of Casablanca (known to have been the stronghold of young radicalized suicide bombers from the neighborhood who have perpetrated attacks in Casablanca in 2003).

Objective: to support them in writing in order to allow them to go beyond their daily, marked by economic precariousness or violence, and emancipate themselves.

These young people have “so much to tell but not the tools to do it”, explained the filmmaker during an interview with AFP, conceded before the Cannes Film Festival.

“Those who say that I surf on the misery of others do not see my films. never filmed poverty, “he added.

The filming in this penniless suburb was obvious for him who founded there in 2014 a cultural center. It is in this way that he recruited the actors of the film.

During the workshops debates arise which agitate the Moroccan society: place of women, wearing or not of veil, terrorism, weight of religion …

But above all, the film implicitly asks the following question: are they really free to be able to say everything, write everything, everything to sing ?

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