Haut et fort
Morocco, France, 2021
101 minutes, Color
When first-time teacher Anas arrives at a Sidi Moumen district cultural center, his lecture on hip-hop's roots—from Tunisia to the United States to Morocco—falls on eager ears. Sidi Moumen is basically Casablanca's Bronx, and Anas's teenage students—scrappy or shy, opinionated or open—have all written their earnest raps before class even starts. But, as Anas claims, rap is born of humiliation, and his students and their lyrics will go through some changes before this high-spirited, street-music-infused film is over. The youths come to the arts center often from poverty, from families that police the girls and channel the boys—let's just say that "rockin' the casbah" is easier sung than done. Anas Basbousi is the real thing—a rapper turned teacher—and the young people he teaches here are nonprofessional actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves and honing their considerable talents before our eyes.—Judy Bloch
In Arabic with English subtitles
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