Magazine article Screen International

Goodbye Morocco

Magazine article Screen International

Goodbye Morocco

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Nadir Moknèche. France-Belgium. 2012. 98mins

An impressively steamy and complex mystery thriller, apparently inspired by real events, writer/director Nadir Moknèche's nicely shot film, which had its world premiere at the Doha Tribeca International Film Festival is a classily made film that could interest buyers as well as likely to feature at other festivals, especially those with genre angle.

The strength of the film is Lubna Azbal's strong and driven performance.

Sex, murder, mysterious death and a spooky old legend all come into play, and while the backdrop may well be modern-day Tangiers and Casablanca, there is something engagingly old-fashioned about this murder-mystery as it flits back and forth in its timeline and comes up with a satisfactory conclusion.

At the heart of the film is the impressively moody Lubna Azabal as Moroccan woman Dounia Abdallah. She is overseeing construction work on a beachside villa with her boyfriend Dimitri (Rasha Bukvic), when the team of illegal workers uncover a 4th century AD Christian fresco which Dounia and Dimitri realise could be worth a good deal of money.

They hatch a plot to unearth the fresco and sell it, which would enable Dounia to have the money to kidnap her young son Jawad, who is living with her estranged husband, and leave the country. Trouble comes here way when one of her illegal workers, Gabriel (Ralph Amoussou) has plans for the fresco.

The films plays with narrative shifts, gradually revealing a murder mystery and slowly developing the character of Ali (Faouzi Bensaïdi), who works as Dounia's driver/fixer, but turns out to be a childhood friend who still harbours devoted love for her. …

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