When a Moroccan woman unexpectedly gives birth to a child and is reluctant to name the father, she must face the harsh repercussions of Casablanca law and the dishonoring of her family.
This rousing Un Certain Regard debut film from newcomer Meryem Benm’Barek casts a critical eye on the treatment of women in Moroccan society and the sacrifices one must make to uphold a family’s honor. Living comfortably within the working middle class of modern day Casablanca, 20-year-old Sofia (Maha Alemi) is shocked when her water breaks at a family dinner celebrating a new business venture. Quick to respond, her affluent cousin Lena (Sarah Perles) ushers her off to the hospital in hopes of delivering the child in secret. Otherwise, Sofia will be jailed for having sex and becoming pregnant out of wedlock. After much prying and reluctance, Sofia names someone as the father— a stranger who lives with his family in the slums of town. The two very different families are thrust into defending their own kin and status with startling revelations. Like PFF26’s thrilling BEAUTY AND THE DOGS, SOFIA is an important and almost singular portrait of one hellish night, navigating a conservative nation’s taboos and questionably antiquated mores.
CAST: Maha Alemi, Lubna Abazal, Sarah Perles, Faouzi Bensaïdi
In Competition: First Feature Award
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