Winner of the prize for Best Screenplay in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Meryem Benm'Barek-Aloïsi's astounding feature debut is a gripping social drama examining the complex intersection of gender and class in contemporary Morocco. Twenty-year-old Sofia (Maha Alemi) lives with her parents in Casablanca. When a post-dinner stomach pain turns out to be the onset of labor, Sofia unexpectedly bears a child out of wedlock — which is illegal in Morocco — and is thrown into an impossible position in which, with the help of her cousin Lena (Sarah Perles), she must track down her baby's father, dodge arrest and placate her family — all against the clock, and with a newborn child in tow. Benm'Barek's nuanced exploration of the hypocrisy at work in such a situation is coupled with a refusal to provide easy answers and a protagonist who finds agency in ways you'd least expect. DIR/SCR Meryem Benm'Barek-Aloïsi; PROD Oliver Delbosc. France/Qatar, 2018, color, 80 min. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
AFI Member passes accepted.