Director: Faouzi Bensaïdi
Producers: Agora Film (Morocco), Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), Heimatfilm (Germany)
German WCF partner: Heimatfilm
Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in July 2010
Funding Amount: 30,000 €
Tetouan, a city wedged between a hill and an imposing mountain. Malik, Allal and Soufiane are three friends who live off small crimes. One day, they decide to change their lives and their destinies. They are going to rob a large Jewelry store in the city.
But soon, it turns out that their motivations for the robbery diverge and set them against each other. Malik (26) unemployed, is madly in love with Dounia, prostitute in the nightclub. If he agrees to take part in the robbery, it’s surely to save her. Allal (30) is a tough guy, tall and strong. He doesn’t understand how or why his best friend, Malik, is in love with Dounia. If he wants to rob the jewellery store, it’s to have the capital to become a major drug boss. To become one of the new powers in the city. Soufiane (18) is a high-school student who skips all classes except for sports. Agile, fast, solid and a bon vivant, his life changes radically one day. If he decides to take part in the robbery, it’s to kill the store’s owner. A city constantly under the weight of a low, heavy sky, three losers, a woman, a jewellery store, dreams of more …
After www – what a wonderful world , a light-hearted film that teased and toyed with the codes and conventions of genre cinema, changing scales within the film itself in an attempt to bring film noir closer to farce, romantic comedy, musical comedy, comic books and the pixelised images of the net, I wanted to continue my exploration of genre in Death for Sale , by focusing on characters and atmosphere, by moving towards classicism, a pure linear narrative, fully assumed, simple and direct, without any twists and turns … But is genre, with its codes and characters, impervious to a deeper reality, a constantly changing present, a world in transformation? Wouldn’t it be enough to add to the plot characters in streets teeming with social tension, a loss of bearings, a shift in identity, a threatening extremism, a survival instinct that mutes into selfishness and overpowering individualism until the situation blows up, the codes become corrupt and the genre becomes “contaminated”. Happily, yes.
Three losers, three small-time crooks, dreaming of a better life, of a future filled with freedom, love, money, belief and belonging, see this future tragically and inescapably disappear before their eyes, revealing to all the cowardly acts, the betrayals and the pettiness of the human soul. They will realise, far too late, that they aren’t strong enough to live out their dreams, that they don’t have the dimensions of the people they dreamed of becoming and that they will pay a heavy price in their fight against the powerful forces of money, greed, destiny, blind love and the manipulation of faith …
Toronto International Film Festival 2011, Contemporary World Cinema section
Key festivals and awards
Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2011
Marrakech International Film Festival 2011
Berlin International Film Festival 2012