Les Meutes”: In the shadow of the White City

Shot in the bowels of the notorious AL HANK suburb, the relentless realism of “Les Meutes” is revealed without artifice. The film doesn’t shy away from exposing the crudest aspects of urban reality, a choice reinforced by the gripping performances of actors Abdellatif Masstouri as father Hassan, and Ayoub Elaid as son Issam. Two non-professional actors whose immersion in the 7ème Art transcends the boundaries of the basic definition of cinema, thanks to Kamal Lazraq’s distinctive vision.

This harsh and fascinating story depicts a father and son caught up in a dizzying spiral. What starts out as an innocent little job turns into a villainous kidnapping, leaving behind a corpse. The abyssal nocturnal epic that follows is told with mastery, highlighting silences, subtly evoking social and economic conditions while exposing the daily violence of their environment.

Screened this morning at the Palais des Congrès, the majestic backdrop to the 20th Marrakech International Film Festival, the film aroused a range of emotions in the audience. Bursts of laughter rippled through the room, giving way to a deafening silence, testifying to the film’s rich, captivating atmosphere. “Les Meutes” held the audience’s attention throughout its sequences, eliciting a standing ovation of almost 10 minutes immediately after the last scene, a well-deserved recognition for Lazraq and the two actors present.

Originally a student of law and political science in Paris, Kamal Lazraq, who left Morocco at the age of 18, has always nurtured a passion for writing. After graduating from FEMIS (Ecole nationale supérieure des métiers de l’image et du son), he developed his own method based on encounters in the streets of Casablanca and patient observation of reality. This approach is reflected in “Les Meutes” through a no-frills aesthetic and the involvement of non-professional actors.

Prior to Marrakech, the film shone at Cannes, winning the Prix du Jury – Un Certain Regard. At the Brussels International Film Festival, “Les Meutes” added the Grand Prix to its list of honors, confirming its status as an outstanding work traveling the European and international festivals.

Exploring the dark alleys of the white city, “Les Meutes” reveals itself as a brutal and poignant cinematic work, offering a striking perspective on the urban and social reality of contemporary Morocco.

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