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Much Loved

Banned in its homeland for its frank look at prostitution in Marrakesh, Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch’s taboo-breaking drama follows four women as they navigate a dangerous path between sexual empowerment and exploitation.

In high-end nightclubs and at wild parties thrown at lavish mansions, Noha, Soukaina, and Randa drink, flirt, and carouse with rich Saudi, Emirati, and European men. Later, on their way home, they compare notes on their evening, boasting of how much money they stole from their drunken "dates" or praising the one who preferred to recite poetry than make love. Their bravado talk, however, is underscored with sacrifice and danger. While seizing control of their sexuality offers the women a form of empowerment, it also makes them vulnerable to a too-often violent society that simply doesn’t acknowledge their existence outside of the shadows. Estranged from their families and shunned as outsiders by everyone else, the three women have only each other to count on—and even their relationship is tempestuous at times. Based on a year’s worth of research and interviews with real sex workers and brought to life by a cast of daring non-professional actors, Much Loved makes a powerful statement about Arab society’s problematic relationship to the role of women and their own sexuality.

DIRECTOR: Nabil Ayouch
CAST: Loubna Abidar, Danny Boushebel, Carlo Brandt, Abdellah Didane, Sara Elhamdi Elalaoui, Halima Karaouane, Asmaa Lazrak
COUNTRY: France, Morocco
YEAR: 2015
LENGTH: 108 min
Thursday, October 29

12:15pm EDT

Saturday, October 31

10:10pm EDT