[ENG] “Much Loved” broke the boundaries in Morocco

Some stories are unbelievable. I didn’t dare to include them in the movie”. Much Loved, directed by Nabil Ayouch, was selected for the Cannes 2015 Directors’ Fortnight sidebar program. The director came to Cannes, in 2012, for his movie God’s Horses, which competed in the “Un Certain Regard” section. This controversial movie crossed the lines by treating a taboo in Morocco. After one year and a half of inquiry, Ayouch decided to tell the stories of four prostitutes struggling to survive in Marrakesh. It went viral on social media. “It is time to tell the truth because we are seek and tired of hiding it behind a finger. It is not a way to succeed”, said the director.

Which truth did you want to reveal in your movie?

I wanted to highlight the fact that there are thousands of Moroccan families supported by women working as prostitutes. Their work is a kind of humiliation and pain. They dive in loneliness and misery because of the society and their families. Instead of giving them some affection and tenderness, they judge them. We have to listen to these women and look at them in a very different way so we can find solutions. It is not normal to judge a woman because she lost her virginity. It is not normal to consider her a prostitute because of that.

Why did you evoke the Saudis’ violence in your movie?

I only pointed out at the lewd part in the Saudis and their behavior. I am not generalizing. I am only talking about Saudis who come to Morocco and who used to go to Lebanon and now they are going to Istanbul seeking for the sexual pleasure. They think they can buy anything or anyone with their money. In the movie, I also mentioned the Europeans who have the same mentality as the Saudis. I am disgusted especially by the pedophiles. Sex is an industry and everyone finds his own account. And it is by breaking this chain that we can only find a solution.

You met more than 300 prostitutes during your inquiry, what was the hardest story you have ever heard?

Some stories are unbelievable. I didn’t even dare to include them in the movie. The hardest thing for me is the relationships between these women and their families. They usually break down while talking about that. They give everything for their families, who take advantage of them and humiliate them at the same time. These women only ask for affection and love.

You weren’t scared when you chose to treat a taboo ?

My only fear was to be misunderstood. I was only scared that people may think it is a provocative and sexual movie. I wanted people to feel the profoundness in this movie.

What was your aim : to treat the prostitutes’ daily life in Morocco or to show how they are enslaved by the Saudis?

It is not only happening in Morocco. I want people to understand that the movie has an international vision. The problem does not only concern Marrakesh. I wanted to expose this hard reality so we can look at things clearly.

For you “Cinema attempt bothering too”, who do you want to disturb?

I wanted to unveil the hypocrite settlement of blindness. I wanted to reverse some habits and practices. I wanted to give a chance to people, whom voices are tamed.

Why did your movie contain some violent scenes?

Violence has a meaning. It tells lots and lots of stories. It is not like some movies when they use violence or sex for the purpose of advertising. Violence’s exposure has a meaning just like every scene in the film.

Interview by Carmen Joukhadar