Posted in TIFF 2015 by - September 12, 2015


Brussels based directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah deliver a sophomore feature whose gritty realism and ever present sense of danger landed them a spot in this year’s TIFF Discovery program. The duo is of Moroccan descent and use this to help tell this modern interpretation of the classic Romeo and Juliet tale of star crossed lovers, this time between rival street gangs on the streets of the director’s hometown.

Maleva (Martha Canga Antonio) is a impressionable teenager that has landed in the midst of a particularly violent gang dubbed the Black Bronx after her cousin recruits her into the fold. Marwan (Aboubakr Bensaihi) is a petty thief who runs with a crew made up of other Moroccan kids, who mainly deal in small time robbery. But when the two meet by accident on a bench in a police station there is a immediate attraction. The further their relationship develops the closer they come to disaster as the hyper violent Black Bronx do not like to share “their girls”.

Sure the story has been told a million times, but the performances here are top notch and the direction crisp which along with the environment lends the film a energy and new feeling to the proceedings. All the kids are great here and the Directors should really be thanking their casting agent for such a amazing talented crop of talent, especially from their inexperienced leads- each in their very first role.

Having been able to envelope the audience in a ever increasing tension packed thriller, Directors El Arbi and Fallah have set themselves up as new voices to watch on the world scene.


Fri Sept 11th at 9pm at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Sun Sept 13th at 10pm at Scotiabank 2

Sat Sept 19 at 315pm at Scotiabank 3


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