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July 8, 2011

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Moroccan Film Week goes beyond 'Casablanca'

THOUGH Morocco is famous as the setting for Hollywood movie "Casablanca" (1942), contemporary Moroccan cinema is virtually unknown in China - and it has come a long way from Rick's Cafe.

Starting today, Moroccan Film Week - the first in China - will screen four popular films that illuminate daily life in this North African nation.

Films will be screened from today through next Thursday, all in original versions with both English and Chinese subtitles.

The comedy "Casanegra" (2008) directed by Nour-Eddine Lakhmari will be the opener.

The film is about dilemmas of love and friendship confronting two young unemployed men. It won the Best Cinematography Award at the 2008 Dubai Film Festival.

Mohamed Mouftakir's feature film debut "Pegase" (2009), set in Moroccan countryside, is about a 20-year-old woman who is struggling against incest. She has been raped by her father who believes she is possessed by a demon.

In March, the film received the Golden Stallion Award of Yennenga, the top cinematic prize of the Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The event is also known as Fespaco, the biggest African movie fest.

The drama "Whatever Lola Wants" (2007) by Nabil Ayouch is about American postal worker Lola who travels to Egypt to take belly dancing lessons.

Hakim Noury's "She Is Diabetic, Hypertensive and She Refuses to Die" (2000) is considered one of the most popular comedies of Moroccan cinema. It depicts a man's complicated and delicate relationships with his wife, his mistress and his mother-in-law.

This is the first Morrocan film week held in China, according to organizers. It is a collaboration between China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television and the Moroccan Cinema Center and will move to Beijing after the Shanghai event.


July 8, 8pm "Casanegra"

July 9, 8pm "She Is Diabetic, Hypertensive, and She Refuses to Die"

July 10, 8pm "Lola"

July 11, 8pm "Casanegra"

July 12, 8pm "Pegase"

July 13, 8pm "Whatever Lola Wants"

July 14, 8pm "Pegase"

Venue: Shanghai Grand Cinema, 216 Nanjing Rd W.

Tickets: 40 yuan per screening

Tel: 6327-4260


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