NNarrative Feature Competition
On the Edge
On the EdgeOriginal Title: Ala Al Hafa / Sur la planche
Director: Leila Kilani
Morocco, France, United Arab Emirates, Germany | Arabic
Two girls from Casablanca, jittery Badia and quiet Imane, spend their days in a dreary factory in Old Tangier, peeling shrimp and dreaming of getting into the privileged Free Zone, a Europeanized enclave that promises brighter prospects. At night they plunge into the iniquities of the city, entertaining and robbing rich men. Their lives take a new turn when they team up with Nawal and Asma, two textile workers from the Free Zone who are only slightly better off, for a dodgy moneymaking scheme.
Badia’s tense, uncompromising character sets the tone of the narrative. She scrambles hard to climb the social ladder –even if this means a step up from peeling shrimp to sewing clothes. She obsessively scrubs herself with lemon in an effort to fight the pungent fish smell, a metaphor for her frustration with the cage she’s trapped in. Badia and Imane live on the edge of a diving board with dizzying vertigo. They lie, cheat and steal, but they remain honest to themselves. They get closer to, but never fully trust the Free Zone duo with their seductive makeup and high heels. Unlike Badia and Imane, Nawal and Asma have families to go back to, but they too turn outlaw to survive their similarly locked-up existence.
Contrasting extreme, blurry close-ups in the night time with dazzling wide-angle shots of factory women in white coats, On the Edge
is an unsettling portrait of those in the shade, who find out that white is never fully white enough, nor is black ever dark enough.
–Özge Calafato Contains: Adult themes