Director – Abdelhai Laraki – 2023 – Morocco – Cert. none – 114m
An 11-year-old boy navigates the rooftops of a Moroccan city while insurgents plot the overthrow of French colonialists in private courtyards and sometimes confront the occupying police in the streets – premieres in the Critics’ Picks Competition at the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
The old medina of Moroccan city Fez, a lattice of narrow streets where there is room for no more than pedestrian traffic. Or, to 11-year-old boy Kamal (Ayman Driwi), a network of rooftops and walkways allowing him to go anywhere. His freedom on the top of the city stands in sharp contrast to the country’s political reality: occupied by France, with their police patrolling the streets. The locals either keep their heads down or agitate for the return of their exiled ruler, Sultan Mohammed V.
The story is very much told from Kamal’s point of view. He is at once possessed of a child’s enthusiasm for life and from his rooftop vantage point able to see things unseen by most of the narrative’s adults most of the time. Yet, he is hampered by his immaturity and lack of understanding of what’s really going on.… Read the rest