“I wanted to be interested in this society of appearance which really exists in Morocco”

The geolocation is sent by WhatsApp the day before the appointment. She leads us in front of a large house in the Californie district, a chic and peaceful suburb of Casablanca, full of luxurious villas and lulled by the songs of birds. “The villa adjoining a mosque”, specified the message. We are slightly ahead, the time to appreciate the scenery. The ceilings are high, the columns in white marble imported from Italy and the chandeliers in crystal. The owners love the tinsel, the gilding and all kinds of flashy objects, like those elephant tusks placed on the living room floor – we’d rather not ask where they came from – or this astonishing table of Mecca which sparkles when it is turned on. “That’s me who found it!” It’s cool, isn’t it? I love the muslim kitsch “, loose Sofia Alaoui with a hint of irony.

The director is not at home, but at the location of the shooting of her first feature film, a bling-bling house rented for the occasion. She appeared in the Moroccan living room in casual dress, a big smile on her lips, apologized for the delay, before disappearing to order a drink. It is not yet noon, so it will be mint tea, without sugar.

Anyway, she doesn’t have time to relax over a drink: filming resumes in an hour. His team of 75 people are already starting to install the sets and cameras in the house. “The gold-plated Egyptian statues, we added them. But there was already a good basis. We were looking for a villa which is a good illustration of the new Moroccan bourgeoisie ”, explains the young woman of 31 years. The housekeeper brings the tea on a silver platter, we settle in without wasting time.

Already Caesarized

Everything is going very quickly with Sofia Alaoui. The desire to make cinema, very young. “When I was 8, I was shooting with a small camera. I knew what I wanted, so I made my way without asking any questions. I’m quite stubborn, I don’t care what other people think ”, says the Franco-Moroccan director, native of Casablanca. At 30, she received a César for his short film What if the beasts die. It was in March 2021, she went on the stage of the Olympia, moved, radiant in her fuchsia pink sequined dress. “It was a magical moment. But the rewards are not used so much to flatter an ego as to establish their legitimacy, to advance a career. “

“I wanted a fantastic story, inspired by my travels in Greenland, where the Northern Lights fascinated me”

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