Second film - Completed 2017

15-year-old Hocine dreams about leaving Tangiers, Morocco, for Europe.
But his mother Naima simply won’t let him : she has lost two sons to the European eldorado.
A desperate, uneven struggle begins…

    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Second film, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 88 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Olivier COUSSEMACQ
    • Writer(s)
    • Olivier COUSSEMACQ
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Every day, Naima crosses the border between Morocco and Ceuta, a Spanish territory, loaded with bundles full of commodities, what is known as "legal smuggling". As hundreds of other women, she earns a living by being a "mule". Being a widow, it was the only way for her to support her three sons in Tangiers.
      Mohamed, the eldest son, has left to France, where he has been living illegally for two years. The second son, Abdemassad, now helps the family with what he earns as a mechanic. He becomes exasperated with his brother, who never sent any money home. That is why he decides to go to France himself, despite the opposition of his mother. He pays someone in Tangiers to get him to Europe, but he drowns during the voyage.
      Naima, grieving, wants to break the news to Mohamed, in France; but she finds out that he has been put in jail. With all her might, all her motherly love, she swears that, whatever happens, she will do all she can to keep the youngest son, Hossein, with her in Morocco, although he too is dreaming of Europe.
      She hides Mohamed's situation from him, pretending he is about to come home with money, with projects, and she takes Hossein to the South, in a village, at her sister's. She hopes to keep him away from Tangiers, and from the temptations that are associated with the city, in particular the closeness of Europe.
      But it is a one-sided fight. Hossein is an optimistic and forceful fifteen-year-old city-dweller, full of dreams, and he tries, by all possible means, to find a way out. All the Moroccans who have now moved to Europe and come back to the village for the holiday look like rich Americans. Thanks to the satellite dishes, one can watch foreign channels. And tourists appear as the models of a joie de vivre associated with consumption, at the same time as they can be regarded as the possible keys to Eldorado.
      After a few days spent tilling the soil with his uncle, and after a first amorous experience with a young French girl, who leaves him without even saying goodbye, Hossein hopes to find with Najet, his beautiful cousin, a reason for staying. But from cultural taboo to jealousy and social ambition, Hossein loses his cousin, who goes to a young French boy of Moroccan origin who is staying at the village for the holiday.
      Naima knows that the situation cannot last. She follows he advice of her sister and finally accepts the impending departure of her last son and her subsequent solitude. She then realizes to what extent she has sacrificed herself to her children.
      Back to Tangiers, Hossein experiences sudden revelations and disappointment, which ultimately turn him into an adult. The mother and the son are united again on a sounder basis.
    • Partners & financing
    • Centre National du Cinéma
      Centre du cinéma Marocain
      Conseil Régional de Bretagne
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Mar 27, 2017
    • End of shooting
    • Apr 30, 2017
Distribution Country
Release date
Local title
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