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The hybrid documentary, a re-creation of the events surrounding the bread riots in Casablanca in 1981, the Moroccan government’s brutal crackdown and the impact of both on El Moudir’s family, premiered in Cannes this year. It took the L’Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary, sharing the prize with Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, Tunisia’s 2024 Oscar contender.
Morocco has never been nominated for the Oscars in the best international feature category but El Moudir’s film comes with major critical plaudits. The Hollywood Reporter gave the movie a rave review, calling it “inspired, innovative and moving.”
Lacking any documentary footage of the riots, El Moudir recreates her family’s Casablanca apartment and the neighborhood where she grew up with handcrafted dolls and replica buildings.
As well as directing, El Moudir wrote, produced and edited The Mother of All Lies and speaks the film’s voiceover narration herself. Marc Lotfy co-produced The Mother of All Lies under his Fig Leaf Studios company. Austria’s Autlook Filmsales is handling world sales.
The deadline for submission to the Best International Feature Film category is October 2.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the films on the 2024 Oscar shortlist on Dec. 21. The five nominees will be announced Jan. 23, 2024. The 95th Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 10, 2024.
Check out the trailer for The Mother of All Lies below.