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Cinema Maroc: Five unforgettable Moroccan films about life in Morocco that you can't miss!

Five controversial Moroccan Films you must see

Are you curious about Moroccan culture, or wanting a better understanding of how Moroccan society works? Perhaps you're interested in the dark underbelly of Morocco, the things people don't speak of.

In this post, I'll highlight not only some of the most controversial Moroccan films, but the most beautiful ones that are simply unforgettable. 

The following films document life in Morocco without the sugar coating, showing you social issues in Morocco that often go undiscussed. 

While I love Morocco with every particle of my being, I feel it tremendously important to educate my readers on Morocco in it's entirety, rather than painting a candy coated picture all of the time. 

When I first moved to Morocco, we were living in the tiny village of Sebaa Aioun, and there wasn't a lot to do. During this time, I watched literally everything I could on Morocco. 

While there are a literal ton of low budget films, I wanted to share a list of some of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. These will not only teach you about Moroccan society, customs, and culture, they'll open your eyes on things we don't often deal with when we're from a western society. 

Five of the most controversial, unforgettable and beautifully done Moroccan films:

Ali Zaoua, Principe de Casablanca

Ali Zaoua - directed by Nabil Ayouch, Ali Zaoua is one of my favorite Moroccan films of all time. Ali Zaoua follows a group of orphans in their adventures, triumphs, and struggles. They band together, have dreams, try to better their lives, and horrible things happen to these poor kids repeatedly. Sniffing glue is their only real escape, and tragedy is unavoidable when they lose a dear friend and try to give him the best burial possible. It's absolutely gut wrenching at some points, and shows the terrifying reality for the street kids of Morocco. Warning: You WILL cry.

Much Loved, a film by Nabil Ayouch

Much Loved is an incredibly controversial film about Prostitution in Morocco, and probably one of the most well known Moroccan films. Like Ali Zaoua, also directed by the mastermind Nabil Ayouch. It gives a glimpse into the darker side of Morocco, yet manages to remain warm hearted. The struggles these women go through in their day to day life will stick with you, and this movie will make you feel a million different emotions. While Morocco often denies the existence of prostitution, poverty levels drive many women into this horrid industry. The films main actress, Loubna Abidar, actually had to leave Morocco due to this film, as she was being harassed, beaten, and receiving death threats for acting in this timeless classic.

Horses of god by Nabil Ayouch

Horses of God - Another film by Nabil Ayouch, this one tells a fictional account of the events leading up to the  the 2003 Casablanca bombings. This is a fictional account of the lives of the Men who participated in this act of terrorism, and the events that led them to Islamic radicalism. This is filmed beautifully, and left me with goosebumps. It's a very sad film, and a definite must watch.

Casanegra by Nour Eddine

Casanegra - Casanegra chronicles a life of crime in Casablanca by two dreamers, Karim and Adil. In this film, you'll see the brotherhood they share, as well as a dark portrait of what it's really like to live in a country where opportunities just aren't there. These two hustle day to day rather than work an actual job, and loathe Casablanca. With high hopes of getting out, these two devise many plans on how to better their future. 

La Source Des Femmes, directed by Radu Mihaileanu

The Source - This is a really odd film directed by Radu Mihaileanu, highlighting life in a poor Moroccan village where the women devise a plan to withhold sexual favors from the men if they refuse to do their jobs. This film is extremely comical and a bit heartwarming, although portrays disturbing realities on the gender roles of Morocco. 

Thanks so much for checking out my first edition of Cinema Maroc. If you're travelling to Morocco, in a relationship with a Moroccan, or even just curious about life in Morocco, these films will help you familiarize yourself with the things people aren't going to share with you on a day to day basis. I'm quite interested in spreading awareness about some of the more social taboo and scandal here in Morocco. You can always count on me to give you the full picture, so please subscribe up top if you'd like to read more from Love, Gawria! 

*disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which provide me a small commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made.


  1. I'll check these films out, especially The Source and Horses of God the synopsis sounds intriguing. I love watching international films. Thanks for sharing!


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