They look like they don’t belong there, pitched on the sunny dunes. They flap indifferently in the wind, watched over by a soldier. For Hénia, these two flags, which mark the border between Morocco and Algeria, have determined the course of her life: in 1975, she and her father were deported from Algeria along with 45,000 other Moroccan families. Her Algerian mother remained behind; her father died soon afterward. Hénia has grown into a woman in the meantime, but she’s still trying to go home. Unfortunately, her papers disappeared along with her father.
Day after day, Hénia looks over to the other side from her house on the beach, while birds drift by as if there were no barriers, and the border soldiers of both nations, whom she already knew when they were all young, sing songs of brotherhood through the fence.
The prospect of papers finally leads her to marry an old widower, but once again she is the pawn of other interests. Hénia must take her fate into her own hands. A quietly sensual film set before a bewitching backdrop that recounts the consequences of a historical event whose effects are still being felt today.
Morocco / France / Qatar 2018
94’ · Colour & Black/White
El Ghalia Ben Zaouia (Hénia)Avishay Benazra (Son)Aziz Fadili (Father)Nadia Niazi (Aunt)Mohamed Nadif (Cousin)Julie Gayet (Sons' wife)Zakaria Atifi (Office Worker)Kenza Es-Safi (Young Hénia)Idriss Dahman (Houary)Mohamed El Hachmy (Sailor)
Born in Tangier, Morocco in 1971. In 1994, she made her first documentary. Her novel, "Cahiers d’Empreintes", was published in 1999. After a trilogy of short films, Narjiss Nejjar made her first feature film, Les Yeux secs, in 2003. Nejjar lives in Rabat, Morocco, where she works as a filmmaker and screenwriter.Filmography
1994 L’Exigence de la dignité (The Demand for Dignity); 27 min. 1996 Khaddouj, mémoire de Targha (Khaddouj, Memory of Targha); 26 min. 1999 La Parabole (The Parabola); 63 min. 2000 Le Septième Ciel (The Seventh Sky); 35 min. 2002 Le Miroir du fou (The Lunatic’s Mirror); 39 min. · Les Yeux secs (Cry No More); 116 min. 2005 Wake up Morocco; 110 min. 2008 Terminus des anges (Angels’ Terminal); 86 min., co-directed by Mohamed Mouftakir and Hicham Lasri 2011 L’Amante du Rif (The Rif Lover); 90 min. 2018 Apatride (Stateless)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018
Moon a Deal Films