THE WOMEN IN BLOCK “J”
Feature / Post-production
Morocco \ Arabic \ 95 minutes
Director: Mohamed Nadif
Producer: Rachida Saadi
Production company: Awman Productions, Janaprod
Three young women, Amal, Ibtissam and Rim, from different ages and social backgrounds are hospitalized in the Block J of a psychiatric hospital in Casablanca. They are diagnosed with depression and in need of medical intervention. Amal is struggling with suicidal impulses since she lost her little boy who was run over by a car in front of her eyes. Ibtissam is still in shock, after being forced into an arranged marriage with her homosexual cousin to preserve the family’s reputation. Rim swings between disgust and rebellion, she has been raped by her father all through her teen years and her mother testified against her in court, her only wish is to save her younger sister Yasmine, who has been left alone to live with her parents. In Block J, the three young women share much more than a room and support group sessions; they share their suffering and soon enough, their desire to overcome it. They decide to brighten their loomy daily life by sneaking out at night with the help of Halima, the Head Nurse of the hospital, to have fun in a closed theme park and celebrate Rim’s eighteenth birthday. Significant friendship ties are made while these women will do anything to escape their personal confinement and help each other by any means possible.
Mohamed Nadif began his artistic career as a theater actor and director. He initially acted in several films before directing his own projects. He is a graduate of the Institut Supérieur d’Art Dramatique (ISADAC – Acting) and completed his training at Université Paris-X with a degree in advanced studies in theater and performance art. He has written and directed three short films: “La jeune femme et l’ascenseur” (2005), “La jeune femme et l’Instit” (2007) and “La jeune femme et l’école” (2009). “The Women in Block J” is his second feature film after “Andalousie, mon amour!”, which was released in 2012.
Passionate about cinema, Rachida Saadi made her first steps on sets in 1999. In 2007, she created her own company “Janaprod” where she produced the first feature film of Selma Bargach’ “The 5th string ” and several short films from young directors. She co-produced four feature films by Moroccan directors: Mohamed Nadif, Hassan Benjelloun, Mohamed Zineddaine and Mohamed Mouftakir.