Nabil Ayouch Kicked Out of Sidi Moumen Suburb Because Of His “Offensive Movie”
By Mohammed Amine Qasserras
Morocco News Tribune
Kenitra, Morocco| Moroccan television and film director Nabil Ayouch could not participate in a press conference held last Thursday in the suburb of Sidi Moumen in Casablanca where he was forced to leave after protesters accused him of bias in portraying the people from from this shanty corner of Morocco’s largest city as “terrorists and homosexuals” in his latest film Ya Khayl Allah (God’s horses).
The protesters accused Nabil Ayouch, who was supposed to participate Thursday evening in a Symposium aimed at announcing the organization of Sidi Moumen Equestrian festival, of tarnishing the reputation of Sidi Moumen through his film and they threatened to organize a protest march as long as Ayouch and the organizers insist on presenting the film at the symposium.
“Sidi Moumen people are not terrorists or homosexuals as the director tried to portray them in his film and the real terrorists are government officials,” One of the protesters said.
The Moroccan Association for the Arts of Filming has issued a statement pointing out that “the film Ya Khayl Allah is far from being fair in portraying the reality and the real suffering of a large segment of Sidi Moumen population,”
“The director depicted the suburb’s population as people far away from civilization, ruled by a law of their own and as they have no culture, decency or consciousness to the extent that they would have sex in a very pervert way,” the statement added.
It is noteworthy that the movie Ya Khay Alleh is adopted from the novel Nojum Sidi Moumen (Stars of Sidi Moumen), which is inspired by the terrorist events that shook Casablanca in May 16, 2003 and happened that most of the perpetrators were from this poor neighborhood.