Sofia: the backlash film on pregnancy denial

After the film Much loved by Nabil Ayouch, which created a bomb effect by tackling the theme of prostitution in Morocco, film director Meryem Benm’barek, a Moroccan native, shakes up the anthill again by exploring in her film Sofia the consequences of pregnancy denial in a country where it is forbidden to have sexual encounters outside of wedlock. Why go see this powerful film?

A committed and feminist film


It’s only when her waters break that Sofia discovers she is pregnant. Her biggest fear? Ending up behind bars for having had a sexual encounter outside of wedlock. In order to avoid being judged, the family goes on a quest to find the father in order that he also assumes his responsibilities. You liked the book by Leïla Slimani, Sex and Lies: sexual life in Morocco? You will adore Sofia. Because by showcasing the distress of a  young girl on her own in a society where a woman can only be a virgin or a wife, the director takes a firm stand against the absurdity and hypocrisy of laws controlling the sexual lives of citizens.

Lifting the taboo on pregnancy denial


Still discredited by certain doctors, who refuse that a woman can be pregnant without knowing it, pregnancy denial concerns 800 to 2,000 women per year in France. In Casablanca, Sofia must knock on the door of hospitals before being admitted to give birth. The reasons? In addition to being considered crazy that she was unaware of having a baby in her tummy, Sofia make the doctors take risks should they accept to allow her to give birth without knowing the father... You said archaic?

Verdict


We validate. By tackling a taboo subject, very rarely explored at the cinema, Meryem Benm’barek offers us a backlash film that pinpoints the violent constraints imposed on women in Morocco. A presentation that has a particular input in regards of the recent events in the country, such as the lynching of two homosexuals or the aggression of the actress in the film Much loved who incarnated a prostitute in Morocco.

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