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The Mother of All Lies

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This fascinating non-fiction film — winner of the Best Director prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes — unearths powerful revelations after decades of silence, denial and deceit. As her parents and her formidable grandmother prepare to leave the Casablanca home they have lived in for decades, filmmaker Asmae El Moudir takes the opportunity to probe the past. She’s never understood why her mother only has one photograph of her daughter, for instance; in fact she’s not even convinced the girl in the photo is really her. Constructing a scaled reproduction of the street she remembers from her childhood in a film studio with the help of her father (a builder), El Moudir interrogates family and neighbours not only about the mysterious gaps in her own story, but the gaping silence around the 1981 Bread Riot massacre in which hundreds of civilians were killed — including Fatima, a child much like Asmae, who lived on the same block.


Best Director, Un Certain Regard; Golden Eye Best Documentary Award, Cannes 2023


A sly, often playful but ultimately moving study of community, generational anguish and atrocities covered up by the state that blends documentary technique with originality and polished storytelling skill.
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter


Community Partner

Country of Origin

Morocco/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Egypt






In Moroccan Arabic with English subtitles

Film Contact
96 min
Award Winners Documentary Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Asmae El Moudir


Asmae El Moudir


Hatem Nechi


Asmae El Moudir

Production Design

Mohamed El Moudir

Original Music

Nass El Ghiwane


Asmae El Moudir headshot

Asmae El Moudir

Asmae El Moudir (born in 1990 in Salé) is a Moroccan film director, screenwriter and producer. Asmae has directed documentaries for SNRT, Al Jazeera Documentary, BBC and Al Araby TV. After making a number of short films, Asmae completed the mid-length documentary The Postcard in 2020. The Mother of all Lies is her first feature film.

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