You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rough Hands

Some working-class Casablanca residents try to beat the system in devious ways in "Rough Hands," the wobbly second feature from helmer-writer Mohamed Asli.

With: Mohamed Bastaoui, Houda Rihana, Abdessamad Miftahakhair, Amina Rachid.

Some working-class Casablanca residents try to beat the system in devious ways in “Rough Hands,” the wobbly second feature from helmer-writer Mohamed Asli. Although he fails to establish the singular tone of his much more accomplished debut, “In Casablanca Angels Don’t Fly,” Asli still manages to suggest the frustrations of contempo life in Morocco for those who lack money and influence. Further fest travel seems likely.

Kindly but illiterate barber Mustapha (played with comic oiliness by Mohamed Bastaoui) lives with his blind mother and operates a side business in false documents and political favors through his intimate contact with retired power brokers. His schoolteacher neighbor (Houda Rihana) tries to pass herself off as a field worker to obtain a Spanish visa, using a treatment to coarsen her hands as part of the disguise. Meanwhile, inveterate gambler Said (Abdessamad Miftahakhair) works as Mustapha’s accountant but also spies on him and his clients for an unidentified boss. A fancy wedding finale, with Berber singers providing local color, epitomizes the pic’s uneasy mix of melodrama, comedy, music and social commentary. Tech credits are serviceable.

Rough Hands


Production: A Dagham Film production. (International sales: Intra Movies, Rome.) Produced by Mohamed Asli. Executive producer, Noureddine Douguena. Directed, written by Mohamed Asli.

Crew: Camera (color), Giovanni Battista Marras; editor, Raimondo Aiello; music, Stephan Micus, Saro Cosentino; production designer, Mohamed Bouhfid. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 14, 2011. (Also in Abu Dhabi Film Festival -- New Horizons.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Mohamed Bastaoui, Houda Rihana, Abdessamad Miftahakhair, Amina Rachid.

More Film

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content