When Los olvidados meet Jacques Demy
by Bénédicte Prot
05/09/2006 - Faouzi Bensaïdi, director of Venice Days title WWW, What a Wonderful World [trailer], has made quite an impression on the film pundits present at the Venice Film Festival, not only for being a "total auteur" (actor, scriptwriter, editor) but also for being erudite cinephile whose film, itself a patchwork of genres (from gangster movies to Bollywood), teems with references and yet is one of the most personal presented on the Lido.
WWW is composed of two main parts. The first half very accurately presents several lonely characters struggling to survive in a Casablanca halfway between traditions and modernity – for Morocco is at the same time a developing country and one that has been looking tow Europe for decades and where even beggars use cellphones and internet chatrooms.
The virtuoso editing parallels the way all characters hold multiple jobs, "normal" ones and more or less illegal ones, to make ends meet. Like cattle, they evolve in the big city, crisscrossing one another's paths, but remain profoundly lonely; like the shoe Kamel the killer finds, or Kenza the policewoman, alone in the middle of her roundabout.
Yet, as the film unfolds, connections multiply, and as Kenza ceases to be the centre of a ballet of cars reminiscent of Tati and one side of a symmetric pattern (with Kamel on the other side), the film becomes a musical and a love story not unlike the ones Jacques Demy once staged in Rochefort. Not many filmmakers manage to combine realism and lyricism in such a colourful way.
This second feature (after Mille mois, winner of the Prix de la jeunesse and the Prix le premier regard in Cannes 2003) is a co-production between Agora (Morocco), Gloria Films(France) and Heimat films(Germany).
International sales are handled by Les Films du Losange.
(Translated from French)