By Souhail BEN BARKA


True Story - Completed 1990

    • Year of production
    • 1990
    • Genres
    • True Story, Drama, Historical
    • Countries
    • Director(s)
    • Souhail BEN BARKA
    • Synopsis
    • The most desirable of regions are those of the Mediterranean in the 16th century. From 1560 to 1578 particular individuals draw the outline of the most epic chapter in its history. With the beating of drums and furious galloping of horses, in burning cities and the alcoves of harems, the exhilaration of power combined with religious fanaticism and mystical impulses blended with passionate love ends up in a war without pity.
      The Ottoman Emperor, Suleiman the Magnificent, the King of Portugal, Don Sebastian, and the King of Spain, Philip II, fight for supremacy of the largest expanse of Empire of the 16th century.
      In Spain, the remaining Moorish converts under the leadership of Akalay Ben Ommeia are in revolt. Abdelmalek, a Moroccan prince exiled in Turkey, sets sail for the Spanish coast with an army of Turks to come to their aid. They perish, but Abdelmalek manages to escape, seeking refuge in Constantinople where he will meet Faïza, Akalay’s sister, thanks to the intervention of Ambar Agha, chief eunuch of Suleiman’s harem.
      There is a passionate rivalry for the beautiful Faïza between Abdelmalek and Selim II, the prince who’s just succeeded after the death of Suleiman.She is committed to exile in the Palace of Tears for having refused to poison her lover, Abdelmalek.
      After the Turks are defeated at the famous Battle of Lepante, Selim II, accused of failure, is assassinated by his son who’s just seized power and named Mourad II.
      After sixteen years in exile, Abdelmalek decides to regain the throne in his country. Thanks to Mourad II, in 1576 he enters Fez, the capital of Morocco, at the head of a huge company of janisseries. He gets rid of his uncle, Moulay Mohamed who then needs to ask Don Sebastian, King of Portugal for protection and help.
      This is a dream come true for the young king passionate about annexing ‘The Land of the Moor’ to the Aviz crown and proclaiming himself King of Africa. An impressive fleet of ships sets sail for Tangiers in 1578.
      A fierce and bloody combat ensues between Don Sebastian’s mercenaries and Abdelmalek’s janissaries. At dusk, the Alcazar Plain on the Moroccan coast is nothing but a hallucinatory vision of an apocalypse. All three rulers: Abdelmalek, Don Sebastian, and Moulay Mohammed are dead!
      Philip II annexes Portugal while Abdelmalek’s warriors proclaim his brother Ahmed, ‘Sultan of Sultans, the shadow of God on earth!’
      His friends: His Jewish doctor, Osrein Yehudi, and his chamberlain, the Franciscan priest, Louis de Sandobal, listen to the old sage, Ben Youssef, who doesn’t seem all that happy about the proclamation of the new Sultan: ‘Each war is the last. As absurd and incredible as it may seem, a war is never quite the last one.’