Inspirations - Laila Marrakchi

Inspirations

Laila Marrakchi

Détour par le désert

Du Maroc vers le reste du monde et inversement

Scenes from Rock the Casbah (2012): Three sisters (Lubna Azabal, Morjana Alaoui and Nadine Labaki) mourn their father (Omar Sharif), comfort their mother (Hiam Abbass), and deal with each other in Laïla Marrakchi's second feature.
Photos: Hassen Brahiti.

Laila Marrakchi Photo: Alexis Armanet

La réalisatrice marocaine Laïla Marrakchi prend la route du Sahara avant de faire une pause à l'hôtel Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa. Elle s’assoit à notre table pour évoquer sa vie derrière la caméra et au carrefour des cultures.

Laïla Marrakchi avait à peine 30 ans lorsque son premier long-métrage, « Marock », a été présenté en avant-première au Festival de Cannes. « Marock » dépeint le passage à l'âge adulte de jeunes gens à Casablanca. Il fait partie de ces films qui arrivent à capturer un moment et une génération de façon si authentique qu'il nous paraît à la fois très familier et parfaitement unique. « Marock » a marqué un début de carrière impressionnant mais la jeune réalisatrice a finalement eu à peine le temps de profiter des éloges qui lui étaient adressés. Dans son pays natal, plusieurs critiques conservateurs l'ont pris à partie en raison de son regard sur la société marocaine.
La controverse a cependant fini par retomber et le film a remporté un succès critique et commercial retentissant. Avec son deuxième film, « Rock the Casbah » sorti en 2013, Laïla Marrakchi s'impose comme l'une des réalisatrices les plus sensibles et les plus intéressantes, au Maroc ou n'importe où dans le monde.

Extrait d'une interview réalisée par Randall Koral. L'interview est disponible dans son intégralité dans le magazine Pullman, que vous pouvez retrouver dans les hôtels et resorts Pullman ou en ligne sur l'App Store ou Google Play.

Laila Marrakchi

RK: How did you get the idea you wanted to be a film director?
LM: When I was small, my uncle was a film distributor, and every Sunday he projected 35mm films at his home. My first memories of the movies are of me sitting on the floor by my mother’s knees and next to my aunt. They would cover my eyes with their hands if there was a love scene. My nanny would come in with a tea tray in in the middle of the action and ask, “Do you want tea? With or without sugar?”, and we’d all say, “Shhhhh! Not now!” I saw Hair, Kramer vs. Kramer, American films that weren't necessarily for kids my age.
The one that marked me the most, though, was Gone With the Wind. When I was a bit older I got my movie culture from videos my cousins would record off French television. They would bring back classics by Mankiewicz or Capra. When I was 15 or 16 a new movie theatre opened in Casablanca. We went every Saturday and Sunday. It was a way of travelling. It allowed me to understand the world a little bit.
After I passed my Baccalaureate I decided I wanted to make movies, except that, well, cinema was not considered very serious. But I was lucky to be a girl. I had an older brother and he’s the one who had to do serious studies. There wasn’t all that much pressure for me to undertake serious study – at least not from my parents, or in my family. That gave me the freedom, in a way, to study and do what I wanted. First I wanted to be a photographer, and then I decided that I wanted to make movies.
At 17 or 18 years old I went to cinema school in Paris. When I arrived it was like: this is freedom. I started my career with short films in Morocco. I worked on Franco-Moroccan coproductions. I figured out that being Moroccan and from another culture could give me an advantage – it gave me something to say. For a long time, while I was in Morocco, I had told myself I wanted to be someone else, and finally I understood to what extent my situation, and where I was from, could generate some good stories.

RK: In Morocco some people perceive you as an outsider, maybe because you’ve lived in France, while in the rest of the world you’re regarded as a Moroccan filmmaker. Where do you think you belong?
LM: I feel I’m deeply Moroccan and anchored in my roots. I also feel very Parisian. For a long time I worried about this, thinking, ‘I’m a crossbreed, a bit of this, a bit of that, not too much of anything’. And then I said to myself: ‘Listen, I am what I am’. I don’t carry that burden anymore. What’s annoying is that some Westerners expect me to be an Arab filmmaker and to focus on what is miserable, to have the same approach as the media’s. But I don’t want to get into that. I’ve tried to show something else, from the inside, that’s all. For a long time I have tried to find my place. So where is my place? My place is in my bed! [laughs] My place is everywhere.

RK: Do you like travelling?
LM: I like not being at home. I like what’s impersonal about travelling. Someone I met recently said that hotels are the best of what a country has to offer. It’s always interesting to see a country’s fantasies about itself through its hotels. I pretty much agree with that. Travelling is about moments suspended in time, about not knowing too much. I don’t like the tourist places. I like the moments that are close to solitude, when you sometimes meet people, like in Lost in Translation. I ended up stranded in Skopje in Macedonia once, in winter. It was a bit difficult, but in the end it was pleasant.

Cette interview a été réalisée à l'hôtel Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa.

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