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Cinema is a country: The transgressive power of images in The Sea is Behind by Hicham Lasri

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Since 2013, the Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri has released a film each year, each of which has met with success at international festivals. All of these films transgress narrative and aesthetic cinematic boundaries, and The Sea is Behind (2015) is no exception: in a fable about the relations between human beings in a society that is losing its ethical and moral orientations, it invites us to consider our perception of the Other. The first part of the article addresses the active construction of its narrative from narrative fragments; the second part focuses on the ways in which the film's fragmented/composite narrative structure is reinforced by aesthetic means, so that, as the complex theme of the position and perception of marginalized groups is developed, new perspectives open up at the interstices, creating an impression of the dehumanizing conditions of life in this society.

Keywords: Morocco; aesthetics; cinema; fragmented narrative; imaginary; perception of the other; reality and film; socio-political criticism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000404676972 University of Bayreuth, Germany

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film.
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