Volubilis

Currently streaming on YouTube at WeAreOne Global Film Festival

Directed by Faouzi Bensaidi in his home city of Meknes, this tale of social injustice is a tale for our times and reflects the situation endured by society’s “have-nots” in the wider world.

Recently married Abdelkader (Mouhcine Madli) and Malika (Nadia Kounda) struggle to make ends meet. They dream of leaving the family house and finally starting a life of their own together. Malika is a maid to a wealthy woman and Abdelkader is a shopping mall security guard. He does a good job catching thieves and pickpockets, but it must be said he is on the heavy-handed side.

One day he confronts a woman who pushes past a queue and sends her away. She tells him he will pay for this, and indeed her wealthy husband’s men grab him, drive him away and beat him up, after which he finds himself out of a job. Being unable to support his wife has a major detrimental effect on Abdelkader’s state of mind, inclined as he is to the traditional role of a man in society and strict religious beliefs.

As so often happens throughout the world, man takes out his inadequacies on woman, and their relationship deteriorates. Abdelkader becomes consumed by his need for revenge, but what can a poor man do against a man of wealth and power?

Bensaidi notes “The film came into being as the result of feelings and observations, among which is the hardship of simply living in today’s world. What should be everyone’s basic right to LIVE has been transformed into “SURVIVE”. This is the day-to-day life of a large fringe of society, whether in Morocco or elsewhere”.

A powerful piece of work, with exceptionally fine performances from both leads that marks it out as a must be seen social commentary.

Jim Welsh

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