The Blue Caftan
Richly erotic and deeply moving, Maryam Touzani’s film takes us to urban Morocco and into the lives of three beautiful souls. Halim (Saleh Bakri) is a master tailor; Mina (Lubna Azabal) is his loyal wife; Youssef (Ayoub Missioui) is the man who slowly comes between them. It all looks innocent enough at first: Halim hires Youssef as his apprentice, seemingly impressed by the younger man’s skill and dedication. It soon becomes clear, however, that Halim hides a queer sexuality, and that he deeply desires his new employee.
Shot in subdued shadow and colour by Virginie Surdej, The Blue Caftan is work of palpable sensuality. Every act, from the peeling of tangerines to the gestures of human intimacy, registers like the touch of satin on skin: soft, smooth, deeply tender. Touzani’s direction is subtle and assured, and she creates human portraits that are as powerful in their physicality as they are relatable in their psychology. This is a loving, gently radiant film—a triumph of sympathetic imagination.
FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2022
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Maryam Touzani, Nabil Ayouch
Morocco native Maryam Touzani’s award-winning short films When They Slept (2012), and Aya Goes to the Beach (2015) screened at many international festivals. She co-wrote Razzia (2017), which premiered at TIFF and represented Morocco at the Academy Awards. She also played the part of Salima, one of the film’s main characters. Touzani has been featured twice at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard category: first in 2019 for her feature directing debut, Adam (2019), which obtained 30 awards around the world, and this year for The Blue Caftan.
Filmography: Adam (2019)