Our review of Deserts: red carpet to uberization

by time news

2023-09-19 14:30:26

By Etienne Sorin

Published 2 hours ago, Updated 1 minute ago

Hamid (Abdelhadi Taleb) and Mehdi (Fehd Benchemsi) in a feature film that looks like a road movie. Dulac Distribution

CRITICAL – In Morocco, two nickel-plated feet travel kilometers to extract money from over-indebted families. A film that leans towards Tati and Beckett.

Ouarzazate, Erfoud or Beni Mellal, between Marrakech and Casablanca. The filming locations of Desertsocher landscapes enhanced by the Scope format, inevitably evoke the lands and villages affected by the violent earthquake which hit Morocco on September 8.

More Deserts, presented at the last Cannes Film Festival (Cinematists’ Fortnight) is not a postcard intended to bring tourists back to the kingdom en masse. It begins with a road map blown away by the wind. Hamid and Mehdi will have to drive on sight, without GPS or moral compass. In their tired and dusty suits, the two men do not lead much. Their car is hardly any more valiant, before or after having been transformed into a convertible by an alcoholic mechanic. They work for a debt collection company, traveling miles to reach isolated villages and trying to extract money from over-indebted families.

The result is rarely convincing. At best, the two nickel-plated feet…

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