Cannes 2019: Standing Ovation for a Moroccan Film!

“Miracle of the Unknown Saint” by Alaa Eddine Aljem has just surprised the Critics Week of the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival this Wednesday. A choral film that looks like Moroccan and modern fable served on a silver tray by fabulous actors.

  Never has the absurd been so Moroccan. This is what the young Moroccan director Alaa Eddine Aljem proved. He has signed a bright film with the “Miracle of the Unknown Saint”. A choral film formed by several duos of standard Moroccan actors. The film is minimalist, the sets are well studied, and the dialogues were accurate with intelligent staging and a subtle game.

The young Moroccan director manages to film his characters with great sincerity and humanity as a start. The situation is quite brave: a young man encamped by the excellent Youness Bouab seems lost in the desert. He buries a bag full of money in a hill in the middle without a sign before being arrested by the police.

Once out of prison, he returns to the scene of the hidden loot before discovering that the place where the money is buried has become a holy place, the Unknown Saint. Accompanied by his acolyte, acted by the charismatic Salah Bensalah, both gentlemen will try to recover the treasure surely not without constraints. A funny situation that brought laughter to the audience that saw the film.

The choral film introduces other very interesting duos like the one formed by Hassan Badida, nurse for too long, and Anas El Baz, doctor for too little time. When the father-son relationship was explored, the outcome was completely sincere and humanistic thanks to the giants Essamak Bouchaib and Mohamed Naimane. That was how Alaa Eddine Aljem got himself Cannes and a standing ovation on his first feature film. He is indeed a talent to be watched closely.

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