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Sexual Violence, Women’s Rights in Morocco

SDSU student Nadir Bouhmouch's new film, "475," explores women's right and repercussions of sexual violence in Morocco.
The film is available in English, French and Arabic. Photo courtesy of Nadir Bouhmouch
The film is available in English, French and Arabic. Photo courtesy of Nadir Bouhmouch

Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code enables rapists to escape jail sentences by marrying their victims.

Amina Filali, a 16 year old rape victim, committed suicide after a year of such a forced marriage.

Last summer, Nadir Bouhmouch, a Moroccan international student at San Diego State University collaborated with Moroccan activists, feminists and filmmakers to make a documentary film in reaction to Filali’s death.

"I wanted to shed light on women's rights in Morocco," Bouhmouch said. "The situatuion in Morocco is outrageous, and I want to do what I can to change it."

In the film "475: When Marriage Becomes Punishment" Bouhmouch investigates the reaction of the media to this case, women’s rights abuses in Morocco and what really happened to Filali.

Liberation through film

“475 tells the story not only of Amina Filali, but of the relationship between sexual violence and state repression,” Arab publication Jadaliyya Magazine said in a recent review of the film. “This link carries weight not only in Morocco, but for men and women around the world.”

“475” was well received by a largely Moroccan audience both in independent screenings and online. In a matter of 48 hours the film has received 10,000 views and trended on Twitter in Morocco.

The film will continue to premier in cities throughout the world, including Montreal, Casablanca, Marrakech and Montpellier.

More about "475"

“475” was funded by hundreds of donors who contributed to a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com. The film crew managed to raise over $7,000. It is also sponsored by Mamfakinch.com the leading website of the pro-democracy opposition in Morocco.

Nadir Bouhmouch’s last film “My Makhzen & Me” went on to being screened in over 18 cities in seven different countries and has received more than 50,000 online views. The film has been featured in several popular magazines and news outlets in France, Spain, Belgium and Morocco.

Bouhmouch has been hailed as the “bete noire” of Moroccan cinema by France’s SlateAfrique magazine and his work has been labeled as “the dissenting camera” by Morocco’s premier French language magazine, Telquel.

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