News Can puppets heal souls? The Mother of All Lies brought family trauma to Karlovy Vary

Published: July 02, 2023| 11:33 PM

Internationally acclaimed films can also provide a deeply therapeutic experience. This proved to be the case of documentary The Mother of All Lies, a film that won the Best Director award in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival and which was screened at the Small Hall in the afternoon. It took over 10 years to make the film which combines searing memories and work with a miniature of an ordinary street in Casablanca, where behind closed doors even walls have ears and make it impossible for the family of director Asmae El Moudir to speak freely. “I realised that if I was ever going to make another film, I first had to come to terms with what my family had been through,” she told the audience before the screening.

The violent suppression of the 1980s protests has had an impact on several generations of the director’s family.  The director decided to reconstruct the traumatic events with the help of the miniature and the puppets that represented her family members. She also involved them directly in the filming. “At the beginning I didn’t even think it was going to be therapeutic. I was making a movie. Eventually, however, there was a real change in the family relationships, and we started to talk more openly. It also unlocked topics for discussion that eventually led to our inner reconciliation,” she admitted during the debate with the audience. And who is this “mother of all lies”? Go to the cinema and find out for yourself.


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