Megarama: French dubbing offends filmmakers

July 19 is a date marked in the diaries of filmmakers the world over, being the official release of this year’s two eagerly-awaited films: Oppenheimer, directed by the renowned Christopher Nolan, with its breathtaking scenes and the spellbinding performance of this masterpiece’s lead character, Cillian Murphy, with his charming British accent; and Barbie, directed by the celebrated Greta Gerwig. 

 Suddenly, this cinematic event turned into a linguistic battle, with Megarama Casablanca
‘s decision to screen the majority of screenings of these two films in French dubbed versions. 

 This decision has provoked strong criticism from Moroccan filmmakers, who wish to preserve the original English-language experience and allow audiences to fully enjoy the acting and subtleties of the original language. 

Following this avalanche of reactions, the cinema’s management reacted swiftly by adding a significant number of screenings in the original English language to meet audience demand and ease tensions. On Tuesday, for example, the cinema provided four screenings of the film Oppenheimer in VOST FR (Version Originale Sous-Titrage Français); as for Barbie, it benefited from five screenings, only one in dubbed version. 

Beyond the cinema, the French language has experienced a decline in popularity among Moroccan youth, affecting various aspects of daily life. This trend can be observed not only in cinemas, but also in schools, the media and social interactions. Increasingly, young Moroccans are turning to English, seen as the language of openness to the world, innovation and access to global culture.

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