August 2, 2021

Hip-hop in Morocco, drama in Chad, magic in Egypt… At the Cannes Film Festival, an eclectic Africa

After the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the health situation, it is an understatement to say that the 74e Cannes Film Festival is expected. From July 6 to 17, the event will give the spotlight to the world’s seventh art with around a hundred films in various sections. This year, Africa will peek through five films, including two feature films in the official selection – which can therefore claim to win the coveted Palme d’Or.

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  • “Haut et fort”, by Nabil Ayouch

This is the first time that a Moroccan fiction film has appeared in the competition within the official selection – a documentary already represented the kingdom in 1962. The filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, who had already caused a sensation on the Croisette in the section One certain look with God’s horses in 2012 and especially at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2015 with Much Loved, immersed in prostitution in Marrakech, returns with High and loud. A work of learning whose action is located in the middle of hip-hop in Casablanca. Nabil Ayouch continues his study of Moroccan society there, this time through his youth.

Read also “Raid”: the ills of Morocco scrutinized
  • “Lingui, the sacred ties”, by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

After A screaming man in 2010 et Grigris in 2013, Lingui, the sacred bonds is the occasion of a third selection in competition in the official selection for the Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – also short-lived minister of culture of his country between February 2017 and February 2018. The suburbs of the capital, N’Djamena , serve as the backdrop for this feature film that follows Amina, whose world collapses when she learns that her 15-year-old daughter Maria is pregnant. In Chad, abortion is a religious taboo and is prohibited by law. Lingui, the sacred bonds is the promise of a powerful portrait of a woman anchored in a societal reality.

Read also “Hissein Habré, a Chadian tragedy”: light on a chapter of history deliberately ignored
  • “Neptune Frost”, by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman

The Franco-American-Rwandan co-production Neptune Frost promises to be the UFO of the selection. Presented as a love story between an intersexual hacker and a coltan miner, the work is at the crossroads of science fiction and musical comedy. This first film in competition at the Directors’ Fortnight, willingly mystical, also competes for the Camera d’Or, which rewards the best first feature film in all sections.

  • « Feathers », d’Omar El Zohairy

After a short film already shown in Cannes in 2014 at the Cinéfondation (Following the inauguration of the public toilets on Highway 75), it is in the yard of feature films that the Egyptian Omar El Zohairy returns. And this time, with the honors of Critics’ Week. Feathers follows a family who sees their daily life turned upside down by a magic trick at a birthday party. Absurd guaranteed.

  • “A story of love and desire”, by Leyla Bouzid

Second feature film by Franco-Tunisian Leyla Bouzid, A story of love and desire is also his second selection at Critics’ Week. The film follows the meeting between Ahmed, 18, French of Algerian origin, and Farah, a young Tunisian who has just arrived from Tunis to study at the university. The discovery of beautiful letters will join the experience of sensuality.

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