Life on the run in Casablanca

February 2007 -

Kenza is a traffic cop in the busy, modern centre of Casablanca. She rents her cell phone to people who cannot afford one of their own. Souad, a prostitute, also utilises this service. Kenza regularly answers calls from Souad's regular customer Kamel, played by director Bensaidi himself. The two become fascinated with one another, and their conversations last longer and longer. Kamel wants to meet Kenza; Kenza keeps putting this off for fear of disappointment.


WWW, What a Wonderful World is a wonderful film. Bensaidi has succeeded in making an entertaining film that leaves much unexposed. Literally: the scenes are framed in such a way that people and events are only half visible. Or entire scenes are told but not shown: meetings, love scenes or a murder attempt. The film is a succession of stylised images: tableaux vivants instead of narrative scenes. People have no physical contact, but reach one another by telephone or via the Internet. As a result, Bensaidi is able to visualise the enormous distance between people in the frenzied life of a big city. It seems almost impossible to truly meet, and when the two main characters finally do, the meeting is fatal.


Bensaidi (1967) is one of today's most successful Moroccan directors. His first film, Mille Mois (2003), received rewards at the Cannes and Miami film festivals. Mille Mois is the endearing story of a seven year old boy who lives in the Moroccan countryside. WWW, What a Wonderful World is as experimental and modern as Mille Mois was narrative and romantic. Clearly demonstrating Bensaidi's daring and originality.

WWW, What a Wonderful World will be shown during the International Film Festival Rotterdam, from 27 January through 4 February 2007. The Filmuseum will introduce the film throughout the Netherlands starting on 15 March 2007.