[act-ma] 3/08 Traitors, a feminist thriller, International Women's Day film

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Mon Mar 2 04:52:40 PST 2015

To celebrate International Women's Day, March 8, 2015, /Traitors /is 
opening at the/ W/asserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center, 
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, 6 PM. Free and open to the public. 5:30: snacks in 
the lobby.

At the Brandeis main entrance, take the campus road to the left, 
following sign to Lower Campus. At the first stop sign, take a left, 
following signs to International Business School. Travel down driveway 
into a large parking lot (behind the Spingold Theater). Take a Right. 
Park at the far end of the lot. Walk up the sidewalk, following signs to 
International Business School/Sachar International Center/Lemberg Center.


When writer/ director Sean Gullette's feature film--a feminist thriller, 
shot in Morocco with a new Moroccan star, Chaimae ben Acha-- opened at 
the Tribeca Film Festival, an African-American woman in the audience 
said in the Q and A afterwards, "Thank you for this beautiful picture. 
And thanks for your great kickass heroine, Malika. We don't see enough 
women like this."

/Traitors/is perfect for International Women's Day. It's about two 
women--of Tangier-- who get stuck in the road trip from hell. Malika 
needs to make one drug-run to save her family home and make a demo tape; 
she is teamed up with a veteran woman mule in Morocco's Rif Mountains. A 
thriller with no guns.  It follows/Wadjda, /butthis grown-up heroine has 
the courage and intelligence to act in dangerous circumstances to try to 
save another woman.

        "the human side of prostitution is brilliantly portrayed in a
        cinematic twist, and a coke-snorting [woman] hashish dealer is
        shown not as a mere tool or a failure of society, but rather as
        a human being with emotions, feelings, and aspirations, confined
        by her circumstances; " --from a review,

                *A slick and spiky drama that presents an alternate view
                of life for young people in Morocco, the impressively
                mounted/Traitors/, the debut film from American
                filmmaker Sean Gullette, is driven by a charismatic
                performance from newcomer Chaimae Ben Acha, who is a
                real talent to watch.*

                Ben Acha stars as Malika, a hoody-wearing punkette who
                is the lead singer in an all-girl band . . .  Ben Acha’s
                sheer charisma helps keep the story on track as this
                feisty, strident punk makes sure things work by her
                rules. /Traitors/ is an impressive film that belies its
                low budget as it breaks rules and creates an
                impressively off-kilter breakout project.
                --By Mark Adams, chief film

        Gullette is the star of/Pi,/which he co-wrote with Darren

            A video interview with Gullette,
            And another, from Variety:

            Reviews follow https://www.facebook.com/traitorsfilm
            "it represents a divine union of Eastern moods and
            sensibilities with punk rock vibes and aesthetics; . .
            .  With a fast-paced storyline, a Moroccan setting, a cast
            of alluring and unpredictable characters that could have
            come straight from the frames of a comic book, and a
            throbbing, original soundtrack, /Traitors /is a veritable
            feast for the senses . . . "our girl [heroine, Malika] is
            one part woman, two parts rebel, and five parts pure,
            unfiltered rock and roll, working at a French call centre by
            day and kicking out the jams by night, stuck between Maroc
            and a hard place. /What a country – sun, sea, and sand, and
            all of us burning to get out/, she lets rip into a hot
            microphone clutched by a set of sweaty fingers and dirty
            nails. :

            " As bleak as the picture of Moroccan society painted by
            /Traitors /may be, though, the film is not without its
            powerful messages of hope, compassion, and optimism.

            "The Arab Spring has many faces. Malika (a charismatic
            Chaimae Ben Acha), the lead singer of the eponymous all-girl
            punk rock band at the center of writer-director Sean
            Gullette's debut feature, /Traitors/, is a representative of
            the restless generation in the Moroccan port city of
            Tangiers. Inspired by the Clash hit, the Traitors practice a
            song with the refrain, "I'm so bored with Morocco, but what
            can I do?"

            /Traitors /promises to be an important film thematically and
            ideologically (for its feminist heroine, plot, and outcome),
            esthetically (for its cinematography, settings, acting,
            direction), and in terms of new audiences. In Arabic and
            French, with English subtitles,

            * Groups that  are co-sponsoring so far are the Feminist
            Majority Leadership Association, NARAL, the Gender Working
            Group, ISSO, Peacebuilding and the Arts. *

        Directed and written by Sean Gullette (2014)

        *Traitors won the Audience Award at Gijon (Spain). *It
        was invited to the*Tribeca Festival* after winning one of the
        coveted slots in *Venice Days, Venice Film Festival 2013. *It
        was one of *only 22 films selected for the Viewpoints *series at


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