Moumen Smihi

  • Moumen Smihi – El chergui AKA The East Wind (1975)

    1971-1980African CinemaArthouseDramaMoroccoMoumen Smihi

    Set in the mid-1950s when Tangier was still an international zone, El Chergui presents the city on the eve of its independence, as Aïcha resorts to magical practices to try to prevent her husband from taking a second wife. Around her, a society of women creates its own form of active resistance even as the larger independence movement grows around it. Through his unique use of montage, Smihi creates arresting images that present a society torn by the contradictions of colonialism, religion, patriarchy, and resistance.Read More »

  • Moumen Smihi – El ayel AKA A Muslim Childhood (2005)

    2001-2010African CinemaArthouseDramaMoroccoMoumen Smihi

    This film, the first in what has become a semi-autobiographical trilogy for Smihi, follows the everyday experiences of Mohamed-Larbi Salmi against the changing Moroccan society. In 1950s Tangier, Larbi Salmi is a young, timid, pre-teen, boy, trying to make sense of the gentle religious upbringing of his father, the secular education offered him in French school, and his budding desires for the forbidden pleasures of the cinema and the women he meets through it. All the while the film offers a tapestry of fifties Tangier, an international zone marked by the influence of Arab, Berber, European and American histories. ‘This film is dedicated,’ Smihi has stated, ‘to all those in the Arab world who cry out, “long live our freedom, all of our freedoms.”’Read More »

  • Moumen Smihi – Si Moh, pas de chance AKA Simoh, the Unlucky Man (1971)

    1971-1980DramaFranceMoumen SmihiShort Film


    Shot in Paris after Smihi completed film school, Si Moh is an investigation of the life of migrant workers in France. Connected back to the Maghreb by postcards and to his fellow migrants by shared experiences of alienation, the character Simoh negotiates the industrialized suburbs of Paris as the subject of Smihi’s intimate camera.Read More »

  • Moumen Smihi – Chroniques marocaines AKA Moroccan Chronicles (1999)

    1991-2000African CinemaArthouseFantasyMoroccoMoumen Smihi


    In Moroccan Chronicles, set in the ancient city of Fez, a working class mother, abandoned by her husband who has emigrated to Europe, tells three tales to her just-circumcised ten-year-old son. In the first, Smihi re-stages the Marrakech market scene from Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which a monkey trainer makes children dance for tourists. In the second, two lovers meet on the ramparts of Orson Welles’s Essaouira locations for Othello and speak of their own forbidden love. And in the third, set in Smihi’s home town of Tangier, an old sailor dreams of vanquishing a sea monster: the Gibraltar ferry that connects Europe to Africa.Read More »

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