Ouarzazate Movie

    • Ali Essafi
    • France
    • 2001
    • 57 min
    • Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World

    Ever since David Lean came here to shoot parts of Lawrence of Arabia, the Moroccan desert of Ouarzazate has formed the backdrop to countless Hollywood blockbusters, including The Mummy and Gladiator. Major productions like these often need masses of extras—and the local people are all too willing to be part of a Hollywood production, even though they might never get to see the result on-screen. Ali Essafi films these hopefuls heap together on a grandstand, putting themselves on display to American film producers who have determined beforehand exactly what skin color, sex and age they need. They survey the crowd as if they were visiting a cattle market. The lucky few to be selected then go on to work crazy hours for a pittance. Communication is negligible and health hazards are ignored—it’s all about the money. Ouarzazate Movie shows all too clearly that behind the scenes nothing survives of the film world’s glamor and glitter. Now, those famous blockbusters leave a bitter aftertaste. The outside may sparkle, but on the inside Western imperialism still reigns supreme.


    • 57 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Arabic
    • Subtitles in: English
    Ali Essafi
    Patrick Winocour for Quark Productions, Juliette Guigon for Quark Productions
    Isabelle Fermon
    Alberto Yaccelini
    Involved TV Channel
    France Televisions

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    Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World

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