God’s Horses (Morocco: 2012)

Director

Nabil Ayouch

Cast list

Abdelhakim Rachi... Yacine
Abdelilah Rachid... Hamid
Hamza Souidek... Nabil
Ahmed El Idrissi Amrani... Fouad
Badr Chakir... Khalil
Achraf Afir... Yacine (as a child)
Said El-Alami... Hamid (as a child)
Zouhair Sabri... Nabil (as a child)
Bouchaib Saakine... Fouad (as a child)
Othman Younouss... Khalil (as a child)
Rabii Benjhail Tadlaoui... Zaid (as Rabii Tadlaoui)
Mohammed Taleb... Abdu Zoubeir
Mohamed Mabrouk... Noucier
Fatima El-Kraimy... Yemma (Yacine’s mother)
Youness Chara... Said
Imane Benennia... Ghislaine
Nouhaila ben Moumou... Ghislaine (as a chid)
Abdallah Ouzzad... Ba’Moussa
Hanane Douch... Tamou (Nabil’s mother)
Hassan Madiaf... Madani
Youssef ez-Zhar El-Idrissi... Pitbull
Ahmed Ayach... Yacine’s father
Abdenbi El-Benthi... Aziz
Azzedine Toulali... Real
Malika Chafii... Mi Lalla
Amal Chakir... Halima
Ismail Laduei... M’barek
Abdellah Tbib... Noureddine
Mostafa Messouar... Young Vendor

Credits

Writers:

Jamal Belmahi
Mahi Binebine (novel)

Producers:

Khaled Haffad (unit manager)
Nabil Ayouch
Martin Jerome (assistant producer)
Marie Kervyn (executive producer)
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
Patrick Quinet
Stephane Quinet (executive producer)
Frantz Richard (executive producer)
Eric van Beuren

Cinematography: Hichame Alaouie

Film Editing: Damien Keyeux

Casting: Amine Louadni

Art Direction:

Hafid Amly
Hind Ghazali

Set Decoration: Hind Ghazali

Art Department: Aziz Mhand (property master)

Sound Department:

Eric Lesachet (sound re-recording mixer)
Vincent Mauduit (foley mixer)
Noura Mouhatta (boom operator)
Zacharie Naciri (sound/supervising sound editor)

Visual Effects:

Stefan Rycken (visual effects supervisor)
Makis Stergiou (compositor)

Camera and Electrical Department:

Sofiane Amly (assistant camera)
Thomas Wilski (assistant camera)

Music Department:

Mike Kourtzer (musical director)
Fanny Lamothe (music supervisor)

Other Crew:

Emilie Flamant (script supervisor)
Christophe Mahé (production administrator)

Synopsis

After working hard to support his family and protect his younger brother in an impoverished slum on the outskirts of Casablanca, 13-year-old Hamid gets involved with the “wrong crowd.” As a result, Hamid gets thrown into prison and comes out a changed man and an Islamic fundamentalist. He persuades his younger brother, Yacine, and childhood friends to join him in his mental and physical preparation to become a suicide bomber and Islamic martyr. Spiritually lead by Abdu Zoubeir, Hamid and Yacine, as well as other young Islamic boys, are cultivated into violent suicide bombers. This film is based on the book by Mahi Binebine and is a fictional account of the 2003 bombing in Casablanca, Morocco.

Reviews

Stephen Holden, “Where Hope is Scarce, Terrorism Takes Root: ‘Horses of God,’ Nabil Ayouch’s Film About Islamic Terrorism.” The New York Times (online newspaper)

Elise Nakhnikian, “Horses of God.” Slant Magazine (online magazine)

Nick Schager, “Horses of God Sharply Dramatizes a Real-Life Terrorist Attack.” The A.V. Club (entertainment website)

Academic Writing:

Horses of God directed by Nabil Ayouch (review) by Jonathan Smolin and Josef Gugler. African Studies Review, Vol. 57, No. 2 (September, 2014), pp. 234-235.

Becoming a Suicide Bomber: An Interview with Nabil Ayouch by Dennis West and Joan M. West. Cineaste, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Fall 2014), pp. 42-45.

Director Jonathan Demme Throws His Weight Behind ‘Horses of God’; An Arabic-Language Film About Suicide Bombers Comes to the U.S. with the Support of Director Jonathan Demme by Tobias Grey. Wall Street Journal (Online), (May 2014).