You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘Traitors’

Sean Gullette's predictable if well-meaning feature debut follows a young punk rocker from Tangiers desperate to earn money.

With:

Chaimae Ben Acha, Soufia Issami, Driss Roukhe, Mourade Zeguendi, Morjana Alaoui. (Arabic, French, English dialogue)

A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead thesp Chaimae Ben Acha has charisma, and the pic makes the most of a manifestly low budget. Fests will be loyal to “Traitors,” but distribution beyond the region and maybe France looks tricky.

Tomboy Malika (Ben Acha) is the lead singer of an all-girl beat combo called Traitors. When a producer offers to help her cut a demo if she can pay for the studio, she has to work at her mechanic father’s garage. There she meets minor gangster Samir (Mourade Zeguendi), who offers a fat stack of notes if she’ll help smuggle hashish from Morocco. Border controls, meaner gangsters and a loose-cannon fellow mule (Soufia Issami) rep predictable impediments. Still, it’s nice to see a depiction of an Arabic woman with ambitions beyond marriage, and the pic offers a lively depiction of Tangiers’ subcultures.

Film Review: 'Traitors'

Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Sept. 5 2013. Running time: 83 MIN.

Production:

(Morocco-United States) A Sharjah Art Foundation presentation of a Kasbah Films, White Light White Heat production. (International sales: Rezo Films, Paris.) Produced by Karim Debbagh, Sean Gullette, Audrey Rosenberg.

Crew:

Directed, written by Sean Gullette. Camera (color, HD), Benoit Peverelli, Niko Tavernise; editor, Sabine Hoffman; music, Nathan Larson; art director, Shara Shisheboran; costume designer, Gery Georgieva; sound (stereo), Jacob Ribicoff.

With:

Chaimae Ben Acha, Soufia Issami, Driss Roukhe, Mourade Zeguendi, Morjana Alaoui. (Arabic, French, English dialogue)

More Film

  • Exclusive First Look at 'Reflections in

    Exclusive First Look at Trailer for Post-Apocalyptic Tale 'Reflections in the Dust' (WATCH)

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Jamie FoxxBET Awards, Show, Los Angeles,

    2018 BET Awards: Kendrick Lamar Wins Big at Youth-Centered Show

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Japan Ramps Up International Film Co-Productions

    Japanese Film Makers Find Opportunities in International Co-Productions

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Netflix Unveils 'Great Day in Hollywood'

    Netflix Unveils 'Great Day in Hollywood' Image Spot Highlighting Black Creators

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    2018 BET Awards Complete Winners List

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Tom Holland Uncharted

    Tom Holland Reveals 'Spider-Man 2' Title: 'Far From Home'

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

  • Palm Springs Shortfest Winners List

    'Fauve' Takes Top Prize at Palm Springs International Shortfest

    A young punk rocker from Tangiers takes desperate measures to earn money in “Traitors,” a predictable if well-meaning feature debut for American thesp-turned-writer-helmer Sean Gullette (star of Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”). Clearly keen to show another side of urban, semi-Westernized North African culture, Gullette strains to make the outcome upbeat, which damages credibility somewhat. Still, lead […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content