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4th CINEMA BY THE BAY FILM FESTIVAL—“CASABLANCA MON AMOUR,” “TRATTORIA,” “JASON BECKER: NOT DEAD YET,” “CXL”

Peter Wongbyline‚ Nov. 09‚ 2012

John Slattery’s “Casablanca Mon Amour” offers a thought-provoking mash-up of Hollywood melodrama, French New Wave cinema, and Moroccan cultural immersion. Screening as part of the fourth edition of the S.F. Film Society’s Cinema by the Bay Film Festival, this documentary/fiction/film critique hybrid examines Hollywood’s thorny exploitation of Morocco.

The narrative portion of “Casablanca Mon Amour” concerns a road trip taken by slacker friends Abdel (Abdel il Adrissi) and Hassan (Hassan Ouazzani). Abdel’s traveling from Casablanca across Morocco to visit the dying uncle he was named after before it’s too late. Hassan reluctantly accompanies Abdel because he hopes to use the trip to complete his class project, a look at Hollywood’s influence on Morocco. The duo’s frequent detours and delays makes one wonder whether both men succeed in their aims or whether Hassan will finally lose control and painfully murder Abdel.