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Casablanca Beats

Haut et Fort

Nabil Ayouch | 2021 | 101 MINS
France/Morocco | Subtitles
Lauded by Mark Kermode as one of the best films of the year, Nabil Ayouch’s grittily authentic tale focuses on a rapper turned teacher helping his students find their creative voices is a class act.

In Detail

Anas, a former rapper, is employed in a cultural centre. Encouraged by their new teacher, the students try to free themselves from the weight of traditions to live their passion and express themselves through hip hop culture.

Working with non-professionals playing semi-fictionalised characters, there’s a raw authenticity here, which, combined with close, kinetic camerawork and overlapping dialogue, attaches thrilling momentum to the students’ workshops. The film never suggests rap music will be a way out of difficult situations, but that it helps those with struggles cope. That it offers no answers to big questions is to its credit, making ‘Casablanca Beats’ an ode to expression itself.

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