On vacation in the Moroccan capital to visit his estranged theatre-director father, 17-year-old Ben finds himself fascinated by the bustling, colourful city — and by a beautiful young woman who hails from a far different world than his own.
Caroline Link won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film with Nowhere in Africa, a tale of German migrants far away from home in Kenya. In Exit Marrakech she once again transplants her characters to a hotter, more unpredictable locale, this time telling a contemporary story of young wanderlust.
Heinrich (Ulrich Tukur) is an acclaimed German stage director invited to Morocco to participate in an international theatre festival. The arrival of his seventeen-year-old son Ben (Samuel Schneider) presents an opportunity for family bonding in a fresh environment, but old grievances quickly resurface. Ben soon leaves behind his father's luxury hotel to explore Morocco on his own. In the way of so many young men of privilege, he is inevitably drawn to a girl from a poorer, less coddled background (the terrific Hafsia Herzi from The Secret of the Grain). Ben follows Karima back to her Berber village, falling completely out of touch with his father and with the security he has always known.
Link's sensitivity to the emotional
triggers that exist between parents and
children helps to anchor the story in the
familiar, while her keen eye for Morocco's
natural beauty bathes our senses in
wonderment, whether through breathtaking
vistas of mountains and deserts or
stylish shots of journeys by skateboard
through the densely populated city. Like a
fresher, contemporary Paul Bowles story,
Exit Marrakech offers a glimpse of what
can happen when a Westerner is confronted
with the radically unfamiliar.