New Middle East Cinema
Horses of God (Les chevaux de Dieu)
dir. Nabil Ayouch, Morocco/Tunisia, 2013, 115 min.
Inspired by the true story of a terrorist attack that took place in Casablanca in 2003, Horses of God is based on ‘The Stars of Sidi Moumen’ by Moroccan novelist and painter Mahi Binebine. The story follows two brothers who live in Sidi Moumen, a poor neighbourhood in Casablanca, over the course of a decade. In childhood, they seek out adventures and excitement, and have all the dreams of the future that come with youth. Eventually, however, they are lured toward extremist views and terrorism. Renowned director Nabil Ayouch filmed in a neighbourhood similar to Sidi Moumen and worked with non-professional actors from the area to capture a haunting realist feel. The film was hugely successful in its native Morocco and has won acclaim from public and critics alike; it was the only Arab film in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
The Cinema Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Program, the Middle East Center, and the Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and International House of Philadelphia, present the 2013 edition of NEW MIDDLE EAST CINEMA. Recently released feature films from several Middle East countries have been selected as the best to be presented to further the understanding of current Middle Eastern societies and cultures through cinema.