Laïla Marrakchi returns to the Festival with another lively family drama chronicling the foibles and hypocrisies of Morocco’s middle class, aided by a stellar ensemble that includes screen legend Omar Sharif and Nadine Labaki, director and star of 2011 People’s Choice Award Winner Where Do We Go Now?.
Rock the Casbah
A Festival selection in 2005, Laïla Marrakchi's Marock was a runaway box-office success upon its release in Morocco. Her follow-up, Rock the Casbah, holds the promise of another notable success. The cast includes some of the Arab world's most acclaimed female actors: Hiam Abbass, Nadine Labaki (director and star of 2011 People's Choice Award winner Where Do We Go Now?), Lubna Azabal (Incendies), and Morjana Alaoui, supported by screen icon Omar Sharif.
Set in an opulent villa in Tangiers, the film unfolds over the three days of the rites of mourning dictated by Muslim custom, following the death of a prominent magnate and family patriarch, Moulay Hassan (Sharif). The solemnity of the occasion is disrupted by the unexpected return of Sofia (Alaoui), the rebellious youngest daughter who left Morocco, against her father's wishes, seeking an acting career in the US. Her sisters, Kenza (Azabal) and Miriam (Labaki), rattled by her unsettling antics, come to reconsider their life choices in moments of emotional reckoning. And as their father's remains are prepared for burial, the three siblings find themselves unearthing some dramatic family secrets.
A bittersweet drama laced with satire,
Marrakchi's film delivers a potent critique
of the complacency to patriarchy that
girdles contemporary Moroccan society.
Delightfully outspoken, with remarkable
performances, Rock the Casbah makes
clear that Marrakchi refuses to be stifled.