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In Casablanca Angels Don't Fly

  • Film

Time Out says

In the snow-covered Atlas Mountains, Aicha is too heavily pregnant to reach her village’s only phone in time to take a call from her husband Said, who in her opinion should never have gone to work in Casablanca and left her with his mother, brother and kids. The way he sees it, they need the money; ditto for his colleagues Ottman – who literally sends the bread back to his mother – and Ismail, who’s obsessing about a pair of stylish shoes. Life’s tough in the city; either you return to poverty in the sticks, or you take the shit and try to adapt…
Though some of the editing is showier than Ismail’s beloved boots and the film would benefit from less voiceover, this is a fairly impressive first feature. Structurally, it’s a little uneven, and it never comes close to the assured expertise or the narrative and visual subtlety of the recent ‘A Thousand Months’. But each of the characters’ stories is affecting, and Asli wisely leavens the sorrowful tone (the film is after all about self-defeating strategies of survival in a culture in crisis) with scenes of absurdist humour: one odyssey through the city makes for an especially droll series of sight gags. The performances are solid, and the music by German multi-instrumentalist Stephan Micus is memorably good. And the final corrosive few minutes confirm Asli as a filmmaker of real promise.
Written by GA

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 3 September 2004
  • Duration:90 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Mohamed Asli
  • Cast:
    • Leila El Hayani
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