Moroccan director, actress summoned to court for 'immorality' over banned 'Much Loved' film

Published June 21st, 2015 - 06:58 GMT
A scene from Nabil Ayouch's film 'Much Loved'. (Twitter)
A scene from Nabil Ayouch's film 'Much Loved'. (Twitter)

French-Moroccan director of the new film "Much Loved (Zine Li Fik)' Nabil Ayouch and Moroccan leading actress Loubna Abidar have been summoned to court in their native country for a hearing on July 15, Moroccan World News reported.

Loubna Abidar plays a prostitute in the film, which follows the daily lives of four street workers in Marrakech.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 19 and scenes from the film were leaked online.

The gritty drama was refused funding by the Moroccan Ministry of Communication, and then immediately banned from screening in Morocco on its release, following a public protest over its controversial subject matter and explicit scenes.

Mustapha El Khalfi, the Minister of Communication denounced the film asserting that “it undermines the moral values and dignity of Moroccan women, as well as all the image of Morocco”, Moroccon World News reported.

Jennifer Lopez was charged with the same offence following her racy performance at the Mawazine Festival last month, which was broadcasted on national television.

Complainants have stated that the film contains pornographic scenes in which the director has exploited minor girls and children, and believe that the film gives the illusion that homosexuality, prostitution, trafficking of women, sex tourism and the exploitation of minors bring a lot of money.

Nabil Ayouch defended the film by saying "Prostitution is all around us and instead of refusing to see it, we should try to understand how women have arrived in that difficult situation", he told the French publication Figaro.

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