Director: Oliver Laxe
Cast: Ahmed Hammoud, Shakib Ben Omar, Said Aagli
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Spain-Morocco-France-Romania-Qatar 2016 96 mins. (15)
Winner Grand Prize Critic's Week 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Released by MUBI
The Spanish director Oliver Laxe's second feature, which won the Nespresso Grand Prix at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival is a visually captivating, mystical tale of an elderly dying sheikh travelling in a nomad caravan across the Moroccan Atlas mountains to reach the golden city of Sijilmasa. The sheikh dies on the way and two villains Said (Said Hagil) and Ahmed (Ahmed Hammoud) say that they know they route out of the mountains and offer to take the sheikh's body to his ancestral home but are they lying. The mysterious Shakib's (Shakib Ben Omar), be he prophet, guardian or the devil who'll lead them to their death accompanies the caravan.
A mystical story divided into three sections related to different parts of Islamic prayer, ambiguous and visually stunning, beautifully shot by cinematographer Mauro Herce, in a travelogue infused context.