Ali is a twenty-one-year old, middle-class man. He has set up a small, lucrative computer business, and is in a relationship with twenty-three-year-old Aisha, who is from a more bourgeois social milieu. On the internet, Ali witnesses the burning of a poor woman in his neighbourhood. This video awakens in him an urge to protest that has been dormant since his high school days. Ali joins forces with Abdallah—a journalist who has been disgraced in a conservative society by the revelations in the media of an extramarital affair, which have destroyed his newspaper and his family. Together, the pair decide to make noise on the internet by offering to publish videos for anyone seeking justice. Meanwhile, Aisha—who is also very sensitive to the misery that surrounds them—moves in more elitist circles. She has obtained a degree in business law and takes up an internship with the team of Salma, a politician in her forties who is a brilliant trade unionist and lawyer, and who is becoming increasingly popular in the country.
Ali is a film about the power of the individual against society. It is a hymn to hope, empathy and love. It tells the story of young adult love, dreams and desires for justice, and how they come up against harsh reality. By following the film’s characters closely, I want to witness the jolts of their love, which is assailed on all sides by the diktats of society and “the system.” I want to capture how this love is placed in danger, as well as how it forms a powerful bulwark against the absurdity of the world, and is possibly the only way to change things—and they way these small, individual stories connect to the larger story of a nation. In the depths of the characters’ feelings for each other, I want to show how they will find the strength to bend reality and adapt to it.
Younes Bouab discovered theatre in high school. After completing his baccalaureate, he studied philosophy in Paris, obtaining master’s degrees on Averroes and on John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. He returned to the stage at Studio Pygmalion. In Morocco, he works as a scriptwriter and actor on national (Zero, Achoura, Razzia, The Unknown Saint) and international productions (The Messiah, Rebel, Desert Warrior). In parallel, he works on personal projects. Ali is his debut feature film.
Khadija Alami is an award-winning Moroccan producer. Her production company, K Films, is gaining international recognition working with major studios and producers around the world. She is one of the leading professionals promoting film and series production in Morocco. In 2016, she built film studios in Ouarzazate. In 2014, Alami received a lifetime achievement award from the Marrakech International Film Festival. In 2017, she joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the first female Arab producer to receive this honour.
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