Rock the Casbah

France/Morocco 2012, Feature film, 100’ | Director, Screenplay Laïla Marrakchi | DoP Pierric Gantelmi d’Ille | Editor Jennifer Augé | Sound Laurent Garnier, Rob | Cast Morjana Alaoui, Nadine Labaki, Lubna Azabel, Hiam Abbass, Omar Sharif | Production Estrella, Pathé | World Sales Pathé International | Contact The Festival Agency

Summer in Tangiers. After the death of the patriarch, family members congregate for three days of mourning in the ancestral villa in order to share the loss and to take their leave of him, all as envisioned by Muslim tradition. For the women, this means changing their swimming costumes for djellaba and preparing the house for the opulent funeral. Preparations are in full flow until the youngest daughter arrives. Sofia, who has been living in New York for some years now, is an actress – though her repertoire of roles is limited to Islamist terrorists in American TV series. However, the funeral turns into a settling of scores between the sisters who start to rebel in various ways against their father’s traditional norms. With bittersweet comedy, director Laïla Marrakchi uses Rock the Casbah as an atmospheric cameo of an upper-class Moroccan family in transition.

After a successful university education (an MA in film studies) and various jobs as assistant director, Laïla Marrakchi made her first short film in 2000: L’horizon perdu. This was followed by two documentary films before she presented Deux cents dirhams at the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film in 2002. As in all her works, she focuses on everyday life in Morocco. Laïla Marrakchi became well-known with her first full-length feature film, Marock, which was screened in 2005 at the Cannes Festival. The Dortmund | Cologne International Women's Film Festival has already screened L’horizon perdu, Deux cents dirhams and Marock.

Laïla Marrakchi
Feature film