The jury chaired by Jessica Chastain crowned the documentary The mother of all lies which evokes “years of lead” of the reign of Han II.
Due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the offensive carried out in Gaza, the twentieth edition of the Marrakech Festival was placed under the sign of sobriety rather than celebrations. But the winners of this 2023 vintage clearly show how far the event has come and its central place in the cinematographic ecosystem of the African continent. The queen award, the Golden Star, was awarded for the first time to a Moroccan work
The jury chaired by Jessica Chastain crowned the documentary The Mother of All Lies by Asmae El Mudir. The 32-year-old director evokes the “years of lead” of the reign of Han II by recounting the haunted past of her family. Due to a lack of archive images, she imagined an ingenious device by filming a model of the neighborhood of her Casablanca childhood as well as figurines to narrate this family past, with in the background the “hunger riots”, repressed in the blood, in June 1981 in Casablanca.
“Every society has a truth that has been buried, burned, expunged, erased but thanks to collective memory, although imperfect, we preserve the history that cannot be erased through testimony, creation and recreation“, underlined Jessica Chastain. The mother of all lies won the directing prize in the Un Certain Regard selection at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The jury prize, in which the star of Ten percent Camille Cottin, by Franco-Iranian actress Zar Amir and Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, was awarded jointly to Moroccan director Kamal Lazraq for Les meutes and to Franco-Algerian director Lina Soualem for Bye Bye Tiberias which traces the life of Franco-Palestinian actress Hiam Abb. “This prize is dedicated to all Palestinians trying to find their place in the world.said Lina Soualem in a recorded message, calling for a “cessation of hostilities» in the Gaza Strip.
Promote “world cinema”
Note that these three award-winning films come from the “Ateliers de l’Atlas”, the Festival’s industry program which was created in 2018 . The platform thus further confirms its role as an incubator of new talents from the Arab world and Africa. Like every year since 2018, the Ateliers de l’Atlas, the industry and development meeting of the Festival, brought together more than 300 professionals around 25 film projects in development or post-production from 11 countries. The sponsor of this edition was the director of Killers Of The Flower Moon Marti Scorsese . In six editions, the Ateliers de l’Atlas have supported 136 projects and films, including 57 Moroccan projects and films, and three of the award-winning films at this year’s Marrakech Festival.
This is the movie Banel and Adama by Franco-Senegalese director Ramata-Toulaye Sy who won the directing prize. The prize for female performance went to Bosnian actress Asja Zara Lagumdzija for her role in Excursion and that for male performance went to Turkish actor Doga Karakas for Dormitory.
In total, the Festival public was able to discover 75 films from 36 countries spread over several sections: the Official Competition, the Gala Screenings, the Special Screenings, the 11e continent, the Panorama of Moroccan cinema, the Young Audience sessions, in addition to the films screened as part of the tributes.