Annatto: A film mirroring Moroccan-African relations

APA - Rabat (Morocco)

Annatto , a feature film by Moroccan director and screenwriter Fatima Ali Boubakdy, mirrors some aspects of Moroccan-African relations by weaving them into the fabric of a love story, while at the same time interrogating practices.

This opus, which will be released in theaters in the kingdom next Wednesday, February 16, 2022, highlights the richness, synergy and interculturality that ethnic melting pots represent. 

By pointing out intolerance and racism, the film also advocates the importance of putting human values before profit.

The script relates the strong and ancestral relations and affinities between the two countries, which are the result of a long understanding. 

This feature film traces the journey of Annatto, played by the Senegalese actor Nissia Benghazi. 

During his stay in Senegal, Adnane, a young Moroccan merchant, marries Annatto, a woman of mixed French-Senegalese extraction.

Their union was a “marriage of pleasure,” a special relationship that allows travelers, especially Muslim merchants, to marry legally for a defined period of time to avoid any temptation of falling into sinful ways.

The young Muslim man discovers with Annatto the true meaning of love, and he breaks the rule and decides to take his wife to Morocco, despite the expiration of their marriage contract. 

And so Annatto finds herself torn between two cultures. Facing all kinds of challenges, her life turns into perilous and endless suffering.

Annatto premiered at the 37th Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival, September 25-30, and won the Best Cinematography Award and the Best Costume Design Award. 

It also won the Grand Prize at the 25th Festival des Ecrans Noirs, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Director Fatima Ali Boubakdy began her career as an assistant director and scriptwriter. 

In 2000, she had her first TV movie “Bawabate Al-Amal” (the Door of Hope). 

Her career started in 2001, when she directed the historical mini-series “Tighalline,” and decided to specialize in historical fantasy and heritage cinema. 

She places great importance on folk tales and historical events.


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