A Moroccan film in an Israeli Festival

The film “Sofia” by Moroccan director Mariam ben Mbarek will participate in the Middle East Film Festival to be held next week in Jerusalem, as confirmed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry through its Facebook page, “Israel Speaks Arabic”.

In a message shared by many Internet users, the page said that the festival, which aims to create a cultural bridge between Israeli society and neighboring Middle Eastern societies, will see the presentation of many films, including films from Arab countries such as Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

It should be noted that the film “Sofia”, which was programmed last year at the Israeli Film Festival in Haifa, caused an outcry at that time, after many intellectuals accused the director of cultural normalization with Israel, forcing her to withdraw from the festival.

This Franco-Moroccan film tells the story of a young woman who lives with her parents in Casablanca and has a love affair with a young man. This relationship has resulted in a pregnancy outside of marriage, but the young woman has decided to keep the baby despite all the psychological pressures exerted on her in a society that does not accept this kind of relationship, let alone the resulting “illegitimate” children. Thus, when she went to the hospital to give birth, the management of the establishment gave her one day to bring back the father of her child, otherwise she would have to inform the authorities, which would result her imprisonment.

Director Fawzi Bensaidi, Loubna Azabal and Sarah Perles play the main characters in this film.

“Sofia” is the first feature film by director Mariam ben Mbarek, who was born in Rabat in 1984 but grew up between Belgium and France and studied directing at the Institut Supérieur des Arts in Brussels.

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