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Casablanca Beats

Casablanca Beats

A former rapper sets up a hip-hop programme for the participants of his local youth group in Nabil Ayouch's well-meaning drama.

Nabil Ayuch, a former rapper, sets up a hip-hop show for his local youth group participants in the drama Noble Earth.

IIn an effort to portray the lives of underrepresented Moroccan youth, director Nabil Ayuch set up his eighth feature at an arts center he co-founded in Sidi Moumen, a neglected suburb of Casablanca.

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Ayuch means well, interpreting the teen’s affinity for rap music as a symbol of a rebellious spirit, yet intense discussions on other social issues – politics, women’s rights, religion – are unfortunately only sources of despair. are reduced to a minimum, either abruptly terminated or remain incomplete.

The film’s saving grace, however, is the cast of non-professional teens playing fictionalized versions of themselves. He has a fascinating rapport with his teacher, former rapper Anas (Anas Babusi), who sets up a hip hop program, although it is uncertain whether you should root for him when he often comes across as arrogant and self-aggressive. crops up.

He teaches them the importance of self-expression and the ability to free the younger generation from holding back, and it becomes a mainstay of the film, a message that is too simple to distract from other shortcomings.

More than a decade has passed since a wave of anti-government uprisings inspired a great hope that democracy would flourish in the MENA region, and while the Arab Spring failed to put an end to the old realities, the spirit of protest was fueled by cultural forms of resistance. persists through. , Casablanca Beats, despite its flaws, stands as testament to that tenacity.

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Ketya Cerny