Rock the Cashbah

The arrival of a rebellious sister from the States turns a three-day mourning ritual upside down. In the end, none of the bereaved are able to keep up pretences in this humoristic drama starring an almost all-female cast. Marrakchi belongs to a new generation of Arab female filmmakers whose work is currently screened in EYE.

It’s summer in Tangier and the members of an upper-class family gather in the parental home after the death of the pater familias (Omar Sharif), to keep memories alive and share their loss, in accordance with Islamic tradition. The women have left the beaches and swapped their bathing suits for djellabas and funeral attire. The situation grows tense when it transpires that the deceased left them nothing but his wives. But the arrival of Sofia, the youngest daughter who is an actor in the States, throws the family into complete disorder. Habitually typecast as the terrorist in American series, she has flown in from New York after an absence of years. The prodigal daughter is looking for ways to get even with her sisters, disturbing the balance so carefully maintained by the family patriarch. In the ensuing hysteria, none of the women are able to hide behind their masks any longer.

Director Laïla Marrakachi achieved fame with her film Marock (2005), which was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.