Dorchester Film Society
Showing The Best Of World Cinema Since 1958


Sofia is part of a virtual season and is available to stream until: May 23, 2021 on Your Screen

  • Director: Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloïsi
  • Year: 2018
  • Country: France / Qatar / Belgium / Morocco
  • Run Time: 80 mins

The breaking of her waters at a family gathering mean that 20-yr-old Sofia, daughter of a well-to-do Casablanca family, can no longer deny, to herself or anyone else, that she is pregnant. This will usher in serious consequences in a country - Morocco - where sex out of wedlock is an imprisonable offence. Whisked away from the party by her cousin, she gives birth in a hospital which admits her on condition that she produce her husband within 24 hours or face the consequences. At this point you might anticipate a heartfelt, Western-Liberal denunciation of narrow-minded laws and expectations, but this is a far more nuanced and ambitious film than that, as the sullen, apparently meek Sofia transcends, in a most unexpected manner, the victimhood that seems to be her lot. The central critique of the subjugation of women and of class is still there - the film is eye-opening in its exploration of class politics, women’s issues, social pressures and bureaucracy in modern Morocco - but it’s the subtleties of character and the interactions of the marvellous ensemble cast that make Sofia , the debut feature of director Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloïsi, such a gripping watch. Sofia is the winner of numerous festival awards, most notably the Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Sofia also took the FIPRESCI Prize, International Competition at the 2018 Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Best Director award for Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloïsi at the 2018 Bratislava International Film Festival. Sofia is available to view from 23rd April.