// Presented as part of December's North African Auteurs Series //
Spotlight on The Miscreants
Mohcine Besri / Morocco, 2011 / Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Göteborg, Hamburg, Karlovy Vary, São Paulo, Tallinn, Tangier / 88'
A group of actors drive along a country road en route to a performance when their car is flagged down by three young men who appear to be in trouble. These men, however, are terrorist and soon kidnap the actors to an isolated farmhouse to await further instructions from their leader. But when the sheikh fails to appear, the barriers between these groups of men— liberal and righteous, artistic and holy— begin to erode.
Mohcine Besri's feature film debut examines the fault lines between secular and Islamist factions of Moroccan society, intent on revealing commonalities rather than pushing conflict. The Miscreants premiered at Karlovy Vary, Abu Dhabi, Göteborg, São Paulo and Cairo, where it won Best Arab Film.
"Mohcine Besri successfully develops a story that gives even the radical Islamists a human face without acquiescing whatsoever in their depraved thinking"