God's Horses (2014)
These are street kids from poor families where everyday violence, mental illness, corruption, and dope-dealing compete with fantasies of escaping to Western Europe to earn scads of money or dreams of making it as a professional soccer player. They are subject to the lure of religious fanatics who blame their misfortune on "the imperialist Zionist conspiracy" and offer a "community of new brothers" to those who will submit to the discipline of martyrdom. Nabil Ayouch's deeply moving film has been lauded for its "brutal poetry" and the realism with which it depicts how insidiously and cynically fundamentalists ply their trade. The film was presented as part of Un Certain Regard at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. (c) Film Forum … More
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Critic Reviews for God's Horses
Anyone seeking to establish an incubator for suicide bombers could hardly improve on Sidi Moumen, a slum on the fringe of Casablanca.
"Horses of God" is one of the most forceful entries in a growing body of cinema that interrogates the causes and effects of terrorism, nationalism and fundamentalism in the Arab world.
Years-long grooming provides explanatory social context. . .in how marginalized kids . . .get caught up in organized violence to get a sense of control over powerless lives.
Director Nabil Ayouch does a remarkable job of putting you inside this brutal world, from the garbage dumps that serve as playgrounds to soaring aerial shots of the endless tin roofs that form their neighborhood.
Ayouch film casts a sharp gaze on tragedy, and the larger socio-economic issues that beget fanaticism.
A compelling contemplation of the roots of Islamic terrorism in poverty and hopelessness.
Nabil Ayouch's film allows us see how young suicide bombers--"horses of God," as the man in charge of their mission calls them--might deserve our pity.
Ayouch depicts the sprawling, ramshackle Sidi Moumen slums with fluid camera movements, some of which ascend unexpectedly from street level to the rooftops, the apparent result of cameras on remote-controlled aircraft.
Horses Of God does a creditable job of depicting the sort of toxic environment that breeds terrorists, gradually divesting its young men of any real hope for their future.
Four childhood friends from the slums are recruited by Islamic fundamentalists and turned into suicide bombers in Nabil Ayouch's affecting, strongly edited Horses of God.
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