Marrakech International Film Festival: Horses of God / Chevaux de Dieu by Nabil Ayouch

It was the first film I saw in the 2012 competition. And it was the first time the film was shown in Morocco. A special experience as I sat in a cinema filled with locals.

Filmed in the Sidi Moumin slum outside of Casablanca, Horses of God by Nabil Ayouch tells a story of children responsible for the recent Casablanca bombings.

The plot was gripping and the actors fantastic.  The emotions were real and convincing.  I’ll admit, I had to cover my eyes on a few occasions.

But for me it provided a greater insight in to the culture. Life.

And life in a slum in general.  The challenges that one endures on a daily basis just to survive.  And the little hope they have for the future.

It’s changed the way I look at daily life.  Like the man selling vegetables from a cart at the local market.  And what may be his story.

And the filmed also touched on religion.  The fear of Allah was a key theme throughout the film.  And radicalism.

A huge nod to the director Nabil Ayouch for taking on a subject matter such as this and bringing it to mainstream media.

But what really made the evening special was that we were in the presence of the main actors and the film director.

Check out the trailer at:

A lot can happen in a year

It’s been one year since I first arrived in Morocco.  Nervous.  Intimidated.  First time in Africa. First time in an Islamic country.

But extremely excited. You see, I’d dreamed about travelling to Morocco since I watched Hideous Kinky in 1999.  I was finally here.

So I quickly got over those feelings and fell in love with everything about this country.

And it just so happened that I was also looking to make a major change in my life. I was thinking about moving to the USA, New York or Chicago.

But nothing seemed to fit better than Morocco.  It’s like I tried it on for size, and it fit perfectly!  So here I am…one year later!