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Inspiraciones - Laila Marrakchi

Ida y vuelta a Marruecos

Scenes from Rock the Casbah (2012): Three sisters (Lubna Azabal, Morjana Alaoui and Nadine Labaki) mourn their father (Omar Sharif), comfort their mother (Hiam Abbass), and deal with each other in Laïla Marrakchi's second feature.
Photos: Hassen Brahiti.

Laila Marrakchi Photo: Alexis Armanet

Laïla Marrakchi, directora de cine marroquí, sale a la carretera en el Sáhara antes de tomarse un descanso en el Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa. Se sienta a hablar sobre su vida tras la cámara y en la encrucijada cultural.

Laïla Marrakchi tenía apenas 30 años cuando su primer largometraje, Marock, se estrenó en el Festival de Cine de Cannes. Marock representa la transición a la madurez de la juventud de Casablanca, y es una de esas películas que captan a la perfección un momento y una generación que resulta completamente familiar y, al mismo tiempo, completamente nueva. Marock fue un debut brillante aunque la joven directora apenas tuvo tiempo de disfrutar de los elogios. Algunos críticos conservadores de su Marruecos natal cuestionaron el ataque de la película hacia la sociedad marroquí.
A pesar de ello, la controversia pasó y la película llegó a convertirse en un rotundo éxito comercial y para la crítica. Cuando se estrenó su segunda película en 2013, Rock the Casbah, no cabía ninguna duda de que Laïla Marrakchi ya era una de las cineastas más sensibles e interesantes tanto de Marruecos como de cualquier otra parte del mundo.

Extracto de una entrevista realizada por Randall Koral. La entrevista completa está disponible en nuestra revista Pullman en los hoteles y resorts Pullman o en Internet en App Store o Google Play.

Laila Marrakchi

RK: How did you get the idea you wanted to be a film director?
LM: When I was small, my uncle was a film distributor, and every Sunday he projected 35mm films at his home. My first memories of the movies are of me sitting on the floor by my mother’s knees and next to my aunt. They would cover my eyes with their hands if there was a love scene. My nanny would come in with a tea tray in in the middle of the action and ask, “Do you want tea? With or without sugar?”, and we’d all say, “Shhhhh! Not now!” I saw Hair, Kramer vs. Kramer, American films that weren't necessarily for kids my age.
The one that marked me the most, though, was Gone With the Wind. When I was a bit older I got my movie culture from videos my cousins would record off French television. They would bring back classics by Mankiewicz or Capra. When I was 15 or 16 a new movie theatre opened in Casablanca. We went every Saturday and Sunday. It was a way of travelling. It allowed me to understand the world a little bit.
After I passed my Baccalaureate I decided I wanted to make movies, except that, well, cinema was not considered very serious. But I was lucky to be a girl. I had an older brother and he’s the one who had to do serious studies. There wasn’t all that much pressure for me to undertake serious study – at least not from my parents, or in my family. That gave me the freedom, in a way, to study and do what I wanted. First I wanted to be a photographer, and then I decided that I wanted to make movies.
At 17 or 18 years old I went to cinema school in Paris. When I arrived it was like: this is freedom. I started my career with short films in Morocco. I worked on Franco-Moroccan coproductions. I figured out that being Moroccan and from another culture could give me an advantage – it gave me something to say. For a long time, while I was in Morocco, I had told myself I wanted to be someone else, and finally I understood to what extent my situation, and where I was from, could generate some good stories.

RK: In Morocco some people perceive you as an outsider, maybe because you’ve lived in France, while in the rest of the world you’re regarded as a Moroccan filmmaker. Where do you think you belong?
LM: I feel I’m deeply Moroccan and anchored in my roots. I also feel very Parisian. For a long time I worried about this, thinking, ‘I’m a crossbreed, a bit of this, a bit of that, not too much of anything’. And then I said to myself: ‘Listen, I am what I am’. I don’t carry that burden anymore. What’s annoying is that some Westerners expect me to be an Arab filmmaker and to focus on what is miserable, to have the same approach as the media’s. But I don’t want to get into that. I’ve tried to show something else, from the inside, that’s all. For a long time I have tried to find my place. So where is my place? My place is in my bed! [laughs] My place is everywhere.

RK: Do you like travelling?
LM: I like not being at home. I like what’s impersonal about travelling. Someone I met recently said that hotels are the best of what a country has to offer. It’s always interesting to see a country’s fantasies about itself through its hotels. I pretty much agree with that. Travelling is about moments suspended in time, about not knowing too much. I don’t like the tourist places. I like the moments that are close to solitude, when you sometimes meet people, like in Lost in Translation. I ended up stranded in Skopje in Macedonia once, in winter. It was a bit difficult, but in the end it was pleasant.

Esta entrevista tuvo lugar en el hotel Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa.

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