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For further information please download the film sheet (PDF).

Morocco during French colonial rule: Mohamed is one of the legions of rural poor dependent on handouts. One day, he finds a bundle of banknotes in a sack of flour he humbly accepted and dragged home. Mohamed sets off for the city of Salé in order to exchange the unexpected windfall. Yet the money turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing: No matter whom he turns to, no one is willing to believe a ragamuffin like him.
“One day, dreaming will be outlawed” – this sentence marks the culmination of the film’s prologue, the narrative logic of which bows to no convention but the imponderable grammar of dreams. Mohamed encounters tricksters, soothsayers and preachers; he flees from the marching boots of the colonial troops, winding up in surreal landscapes. Ruins. Grottoes and vaults. In fields and on beaches, a nightmare without end.
Ahmed Bouanani’s poetic feature Al-Sarab – which he insisted on filming in black-and-white despite great resistance – is at once the director’s first full-length film and the last he ever made. Its influence on subsequent generations is immeasurable. (Christoph Terhechte)

Production: Centre Cinématographique Marocain (CCM), Rabat; Basma Production
Screenplay: Ahmed Bouanani
Camera: Abdellah Bayahia
Cast: Mohamed Habachi, Mohamed Saïd Afifi, Fatima Regragul
Format: 35 mm, Black/White
Running time: 100 min
Language: Arabic

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur