Sofia | Denver Film Society | Meryem Benm'Barek | France

Sofia

Meryem Benm'Barek

Drama, Social Issues, Women's Issues

Arabic, FrenchEnglish SubtitlesFrance201880 min

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Overview

Premarital sex is a crime in Morocco. Sofia, 20, has committed it. When, after nine months of pregnancy denial, she gives birth, she’s forced to reckon with a patriarchal system that protects the semblance of honor over the real thing—and reckon with it she does in this nuanced sociorealist drama.

First-time feature filmmaker Meryem Benm’Barek explores the numerous complexities of not only gender but also class and the vestiges of colonialism that the key players must negotiate to resolve their crisis. As she notes in her director’s statement, Moroccan births out of wedlock are “bound to be complicated because both the mother and the father are likely to be prosecuted and sentenced to jail. As a result, marriage is the only possible solution.” Whether it seems like much of a solution to either Sofia or Omar, the partner in crime she barely knows, is irrelevant in a society where the preservation of family status is paramount; they know it, and so does Sofia’s well-meaning cousin Lena, whose own family’s comparative wealth and influence make her an arbiter of propriety. And yet Sofia’s not ready to accept victimhood just yet.

Producer: Olivier Delbosc | Editor: Céline Perréard | Cinematographer: Son Doan | Screenwriter: Meryem Benm'Barek
Cast: Maha Alemi, Lubna Azabal, Sarah Perles, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Hamza Khafif
Additional Countries: Qatar