The trailer for Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir’s Cannes entry “The Mother of All Lies” debuts here (below). The documentary hybrid, about the lies that pervaded El Moudir’s childhood in Casablanca, has its premiere in Un Certain Regard on May 24. World sales are being handled by Autlook Filmsales.
The film starts with El Moudir wanting to know why she has only one photograph from her childhood, and why the girl in the picture isn’t even her.
To get to the truth, El Moudir and her father build a miniature set that recreates their neighborhood, and bring the whole family to the soundstage where it is built.
She then begins to ask questions, unraveling the story, letting her family members talk, asking probing questions. Slowly, she begins to interrogate the tales that her mother, father and grandmother have told all her life about their home and their country, starting to understand the layers of deception and intentional forgetting that have shaped her life.
In the film, she uses her own voice – as a child and as an adult – to lead the story. “My questions and my fantasized memories — between fiction and reality, between truth and lies — show how difficult it is to build one’s identity when all your memories are unreliable,” El Moudir says.
“I am not trying to document the true story of my family but to make a film about the multiplicity of points of view and the plurality of interpretations that exist within one household, not only for the sake of family history but for that of national history as well.”
El Moudir is a Paris- and Rabat-based director, screenwriter and producer. She has directed short documentaries for SNRT, Al Jazeera Documentary, BBC and Al Araby TV. She completed the mid-length film “The Postcard” in 2020. “The Mother of All Lies” is her first feature film.
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