Much Love

Movie about sex workers banned in Morocco


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Much Loved by Nabil Ayouch banned for 'grave outrage against moral values'

Link Here 27th May 2015
Much Loved is a 2015 Morocco drama by Nabil Ayouch.
Starring Loubna Abidar, Danny Boushebel and Abdellah Didane. IMDb

A group of women in Morocco make a living as prostitutes in a culture that is very unforgiving toward women in that profession.

Franco-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch said he was shocked after Morocco banned his movie Much Loved about prostitution, following its screening at Cannes. Ayouch said:

I'm shocked and surprised by this ban. I don't understand that my film can be banned when we haven't yet applied for a permit for it to be shown.

Prostitution is all around us, and instead of refusing to see it we should try to understand how women who have had difficult lives end up this way.

Much Loved focuses on the problem of prostitution in Morocco through the eyes of four women.

Clips released over the past few days have caused 'outrage' in Morocco against the director and his principal actress, Loubna Abidar.

The government announced that it would not be screened, claiming it to be a grave outrage against moral values and Moroccan womanhood , and a flagrant attack on the kingdom's image .

In a statement, the ministry of communications said the decision to ban the film had been taken after a team from the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre saw it at an international festival , a clear reference to Cannes.



Update: Much Censored...

Morocco prosecutes director and actress of film about the country's sex workers

Link Here 25th June 2015
Nabil Ayouch's film about sex workers in Morocco has already been banned by the country's film censors, but now the authorities have summoned the filmmakers to court on charges of supposed pornography, indecency and inciting minors to debauchery.

The film, Much Loved (Zin Li Fik), which lifts the lid on the Moroccan sex industry is directed by Nabil Ayouch and stars  Loubna Abidar, who plays a prostitute. Now both have been asked to defend the allegedly immoral content of the movie before a court in Marrakech next month, according to reports from the Moroccan press .

Their decision to ban the film was based on two clips leaked on the internet, one of which showed three sex workers in a car speaking about their clients, with one saying she hoped to get a Saudi Arabian man who is good looking, nice and has a small penis .

The film also depicts a fumble in a parked van, a failed attempt to achieve an erection, which results in violence, and other scenes of violent sex. An actor playing a homeless boy is also depicted admitting that European men regularly abuse him for sex at 5 a time.

Abidar has received death threats for starring as a prostitute in the film. The actress wrote on her Facebook page that she had received an anonymous call to her home phone from an unknown person threatening to kill her. She has appeared on Moroccan radio to defend her part in the film, saying she was only playing the role of many prostitutes that exist in Morocco .

The film is currently being shown at the 33rd Munich Film Festival.



Updated: Much some...

Banned Moroccan film shown at Tunis film festival with tight security over fears of violence

Link Here 29th November 2015
Much Loved is a 2015 Morocco drama by Nabil Ayouch.
Starring Loubna Abidar, Danny Boushebel and Abdellah Didane. IMDb

A group of women in Morocco make a living as prostitutes in a culture that is very unforgiving toward women in that profession.

The star of a banned film on sex work in Morocco was savagely beaten in Casablanca last week, sparking an outcry on social media over social taboos that activists say can be enforced by violence.

Loubna Abidar, who portrays a Marrakech sex worker in Much Loved , a film by renowned French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch that caused a stir in Morocco when a series of previews were released on YouTube, said police and hospital workers refused to help her. Instead they humiliated her, she said:

No [police officer] and no doctor would take care of me. Everyone mocked me and said, 'Finally, Abidar! You got beaten.

In a self-recorded video shared widely on social media this week, a bruised and bloodied Ms Abidar describes the ordeal, without offering much detail on the assailants.

Update: Banned film screened at Tunis film festival

29th November 2015. See  article from

A controversial film portraying prostitution in Morocco that was shunned in the Arab world has finally been shown, amid tight security, at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia. Fears of an attack by militants saw armed police and steel barriers around the cinema and each cinemagoer searched for weapons. 

Director Nabil Ayouch's Much Loved portrays the lives of four upmarket prostitutes working for tourists and wealthy clients in Marrakech was made on a shoestring, using unknown actors and a mostly female crew.

The film,  has provoked a storm of 'outrage' and violence. Ayouch and the cast had death threats, and the Moroccan government formally banned the film, accusing the direc- tor of staining the country's reputation. In June, the film was praised at the Toronto film festival for its unflinching appraisal of the lives of women on the margins of society, but at home a pressure group filed a lawsuit against the director. Actor Yousseff El-Idrissi, who plays a rich client in the film, told of being attacked by knife-wielding thugs.


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