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Sofia Film Screening In Cannes

As part of the Cannes Film Festival selection for the Un Certain Regard category, Sofia is a film that sheds the light on a very controversial issue in the Middle East.

Giving birth out of wedlock is a problematic many women face and who are often forced into abortion as the sole solution in their conservative and judgmental milieu.

The leading character Sofia is a 20 year-old girl living with her parents in Casablanca, Morocco. She finds herself giving birth as a single mother and at a hospital that gives her a strict 24 hours to submit the identification of the father. In order to avoid legal consequences her story unfolds in a very socio-cultural dramatic approach.

Sofia is director Meryem Benm’Barek’s first feature film who was intrigued by this social struggle: “Everybody there (Morocco) has heard of or knows about someone who has suffered from pregnancy denial, or of a child born from parents who aren’t married. It’s a situation bound to be complicated because both the mother and the father are likely to be prosecuted and sentenced to jail… I’m merely depicting today’s reality: Every day in Morocco, 150 women give birth out of wedlock; they risk going to jail, and are stigmatized, along with their children.”

Article by G.N.