West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2015                              

DCP • 1.85 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 104 min

Directed by: Nabil Ayouch

Written by: Nabil Ayouch

Cinematography: Virginie Surdej

Film Editing: Damien Keyeux

Original Score: Mike Kourtzer

Produced by: Nabil Ayouch, Saïd Hamich, Eric Poulet

Cast: Loubna Abidar (Noha), Asmaa Lazrak (Randa), Halima Karaouane (Soukaina) 

International Sales: Celluloid Dreams


Following its unveiling at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, this glossy, Marrakech-based drama about women making ends meet by selling their bodies has been banned in Morocco and cast members have been attacked on the streets. Loubna Abidar is magnetic as Noha, who at 28, is the matriarch of a group of upscale call girls who live together as a family of sorts. Case-hardened by life, Noha’s only vulnerability is her judgmental mother. Soukaina, on the other hand, still harbors romantic sentiments for a penniless suitor who can only observe the object of his affection from a distance. Randa, the youngest and most modern, could learn a lot from Noha, if only her growing attraction to women weren’t eroding the mentorship. We follow their precarious lives as they negotiate the hypocritical macho posturing, the sexual repression, and the deeply entrenched double standards that mark Moroccan society, and perhaps by extension, much of the Arab world.

Writer/director Nabil Ayouch is known for pointed social dramas that focus on characters driven to desperation by poverty and victimization. While films like A Minute of Sun Less (2002), which depicted homosexual sex, have served to start conversations, they have also landed him in direct conflict with the more conservative elements of the Moroccan state. His 2012 film Horses of God took a hard look at the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombers as a harbinger for the rising phenomena of terrorism fueled by poverty and social alienation. After that, Ayouch decided to look into prostitution as another form of violence visited upon the underprivileged. Much Love[BD1]  was the product of 18 months of research, including personal interviews with more than 200 sex workers.  Initially conceived as a documentary, it evolved into what Ayouch calls a “fiction du reel”. Born in Paris to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother, Ayouch was raised in France.  In response to the ongoing ban on his film, more than 80 French producers and filmmakers have signed a petition in support.



“…an enticing and uncompromising insight into a sordid and brutal underworld.”

– Harriet Clugston, London Film Festival

“The cast’s remarkable bravery cannot be overstated, and the actresses are potent conveyors of the film’s message countering the establishment’s pietism.”

– Jay Weissberg, Variety

“Ayouch has a hypnotic ability to immerse the viewer in scenes.”

– Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter