films – Cinema Akil

Meryem Benm Barek-Aloisi
Morocco | PG13 | 80 min | Drama | Arabic

How long can you deny a pregnancy, hide it? Not long, as the 20-year-old Moroccan Sofia found out: her waters broke suddenly in the kitchen of her parental home. Her cousin Lena takes her to hospital, but there they face problems; in Morocco, sex outside marriage is an offence. A woman having a baby can only be admitted to hospital when there’s a man to acknowledge fathering the unborn child. In order to get help, save her family's honour and stay out of jail, Sofia must find the father of her child and marry him as soon as possible. In a calm, unadorned style, Meryem Benm'Barek slowly reveals the scale of the social forces oppressing Sofia. Class differences, written and unwritten rules, hypocrisy and abuse of power all play a role in this self-assured feature debut, in which Sofia tries to stay on top of the situation with far-reaching consequences.