Unconventional Moroccan love story wins prize at Marrakech Film Festival

“The Blue Caftan”, which won the Jury Prize at the Marrakech International Film Festival in November, explores what people are capable of when it comes to love. Through the eyes of a tailor, Moroccan director Maryam Touzani reveals ordinary people trying to find a balance between tradition, modernity and freedom in a conservative society.

“The Blue Caftan” – which premiered at Cannes earlier this year – shared the Marrakech International Film Festival's Jury Prize with “Alma Viva”, directed by French-Portuguese filmmaker Cristèle Alves Meira.

Set in the heart of a Moroccan medina, Touzani's film delves into the lives of three complex characters, each grappling with a secret.

Halim, played by Saleh Bakri, is a maalem, a master tailor. His life revolves around the art of making beautiful caftans by hand.

He is married to Mina, played by Lubna Azabal, who is unwell and knows she is dying. Halim is torn between being a dutiful husband and his hidden homosexuality.

Although society ostracizes him, he underestimates the power of love. He realises that he has a wife who is willing to go beyond her religious beliefs to support him.

The couple are thrilled to find a young apprentice, Youssef, played by Ayoub Missioui, who agrees to take on tasks in the workshop with a dedication and care rare for his generation.

Homage to heritage

Touzani says showing her love for Morocco's cultural heritage was also very much part of making the film.

“They define us and make us who we are, but sadly we live in a world where everything is going too fast and we’re losing this know-how.

Read more on RFI English

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