“Le Bleu du Caftan”, a feature film which addresses a taboo subject in the Kingdom, is preselected for the Oscars in the category “Best Foreign Film”.
MO12345LEMONDE With AFP
preselected for the Oscars, a Moroccan film approaching homosexuality, the blue of the caftan, “can help create a healthy and necessary debate” on this question which divides in Morocco, estimates its director, Maryam Touzani, in an interview to AFP. His second feature film tells the story of Halim and Mina, a united and without stories couple but who lives with a weighing secret: the homosexuality of the husband.
The film, a candidate of Morocco to the Oscars, was retained last week among the fifteen feature films preselected in the “Best Foreign Film” category of the prestigious American competition. “It is a huge honor to be able to represent Morocco and to wear the colors of the country at this stage of the competition, said M me touzani to AFP. The fact that my film represents the Morocco is an advance. The symbolism is beautiful and strong. This reflects a desire for openness and dialogue. “
This advance is illustrated, according to her, by the fact that her film was appointed by an official commission, made up of cinema professionals, to represent Morocco at the Oscars. A daring choice in a country where homosexuality, a largely taboo subject in a conservative society, divides public opinion and remains liable from six months to three years in prison, according to the penal code.
“It hurts me and hurts me to see people [from the LGBT +community] Living hidden, in fear, and that the expression of their love is stifled, denied and judged, deplores the director of 42 years . My film can help create a healthy, necessary and salutary debate on this question. “
” We cannot condemn love “
It is in the medina of Salé, neighboring town of Rabat, that the life of Mina and Halim – camped by the Belgian actress Lubna Azabal and the Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri – rocks with the arrival of a young Apprentice in their workshop to make caftans (traditional Moroccan dresses). The rapprochement between Youssef (interpreted by the Moroccan actor Ayoub Missioui) and his master tailor embarks them, with Mina, in an experience of new and plural love.
“We often tend to put labels on love stories, but my deep desire was to tell them without passing judgment,” explains Maryam Touzani, who won the International Critics’ Prize for his film Cannes film festival. In fiction as in reality, the director believes hard as “mentalities must change”. And “it is by changing the mentalities that laws can evolve,” she adds: “I think we cannot condemn love.”
“Freedom to love belongs to us”, already defended the filmmaker with AFP, in November, on the sidelines of the Marrakech International Film Festival, where her feature film received the jury prize. In Morocco, homosexuality is certainly penalized, but it is relatively less repressed than in other countries of the region and the proceedings are not systematic.
The other facet of the film is the valuation of the craft confection of the Caftan, a traditionally worn on special occasions in Morocco. “The film also explores the love of a profession, that of the Maalem [master tailor in Moroccan Arab dialect], which tends to disappear. The evolution of history is done in parallel with the making of the caftan”, explains- she. The blue of the caftan is the second film representing Morocco to be preselected for the Oscars after Omar kills me, from Franco-Moroccan Roschdy Zem. The final list of nominated films will be unveiled on January 24.