Director Nabil Ayouch drew on his own experience opening a youth cultural center in Casablanca for this story of a former rapper named Anas who takes a job teaching hip hop in an underprivileged neighborhood. Despite differences in identity, religion, and politics, Anas encourages his students to bond together and break free from the weight of restrictive traditions in order to follow their passion and express themselves through the arts. Featuring a dynamic ensemble of first-time actors, many of them students of the real-life cultural center where the film was shot, Casablanca Beats is a vibrant and inspiring coming-of-age hip hop musical with a decidedly feminist edge. Mixing intimate yet high stakes drama with infectious musical sequences, the film transports audiences to a lively and contemporary Casablanca, far from the clichš about the Arab world.
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