A night between yesterday and tomorrow,
A night with a full moon,
A night for where the moon splits in half,
A night of the end of the world.
On Casablanca’s coast road, a taxi bus suddenly stops and the passengers discover the odd vision of the moon splitting in half across the sky. Abir, a young woman, stares up and feels that the universe will never be the same. The effect of this unprecedented event is quickly known: dreams have disappeared. Only an empty sleep remains, with no more images. A black hole where the soul has no more mirror. Except for Abir, who night after night stumbles upon a new path towards dreams. She discovers a new space - disturbing at first - before becoming appealing and mysterious. On her journey, she attempts to decipher how everyone can once again dream.
This film tells a story of the passage from one world to another; a story of the end of times. It begins with the tearing apart of the Moon—a point of no return in our frantic race towards the future. It is this iconic image, and the disappearance of dreams that it brings in its wake, that is the starting point of my desire to make this film. In Jmar, my first short film, which was shot in Mohammedia, Morocco, I wanted to examine the frustration of desire experienced by young men. I was inspired by the sea and the waves of desire. In this film, it is the sky and the stars I would like to explore and, departing from the frustrations of the body, I seek to confront the frustrations of the soul. L’Apocalypse arabe, which draws its inspiration from Etel Adnan’s poem of the same name, will be a poetic, fantastical journey alongside the character of Abir through today’s Morocco, where—as is the case everywhere in the world—we must learn to dream again.
Samy Sidali was born to Moroccan parents in the Hauts de Seine suburb of Paris in 1989. At the age of eighteen, he moved to London to explore cinema, first as a self-taught filmmaker, then at the University of the Arts London. In 2020, he shot Jmar, his first professional short film, in Morocco. The film has been presented at numerous festivals and is a nominee for the 2023 César Award for Best Fiction Short Film. In 2021, Sidali shot his second short fiction film, A.O.C, which is currently on the festival circuit and has been shown at the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur and the Cinemed Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, among others. In 2022, he directed his first short documentary, Petit taxi, which is slated to have its premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Sidali hopes to shoot L’Apocalypse arabe, his first feature-length film, early in 2024.
After several years working at the major companies Nord-Ouest Films and Wild Bunch, in 2017, Joséphine Mourlaque and Antoine Salomé decided to join forces. They launched Mabel Films to produce work by directors of their generation—the guardians of the French cinema of tomorrow. In 2021, Salomé won a Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation Film Producer Grant with Nyima Cartier’s project Totem, which is currently in the financing stage. In 2022, Brachet’s film The End of Kings (La fin des rois) was nominated for the César Award for Best Documentary Short Film.
€2 100 000
Februrary - March 2024, Mohammedia (Morocco)
Funding, development support, broadcasters