Horses of God (aka God’s Horses) (2012): Ayouch’s Tale, Inspired by Terrorist Attack in Casablanca

Cannes Film Fest 2012—Nabil Ayouch’s Horses of God (aka God’s Horses)is inspired by the terrorist attacks in Casablanca on My 16, 2003.

Loosely based on the novel “The Stars of Sidi Moumen,” by Mahi Binebine, “Horses of God” world premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Fest in the series, Un Certain Regard.

But the film is less a political tale than a coming-of-age story, set against unbearable conditions. The protagonist is Yachine, a 10 year old boy, who lives with his family in the slum of Sidi Moumen in Casablanca,

Yachine can’t rely much on his parent. His mother, Yemma, manages the household as best as she can, considering that her husband suffers from deep depression. One of Yachine’s brothers in the army, another is autistic, and the third, Hamid, behaves as if controls the whole neighborhood, though he is only 13.

When Hamid is sent to jail, Yachine goes through an assortment of jobs, just to survive the violence, misery and drug that define his milieu.

When Hamid is released from prison, he is transformed into an Islamic fundamentalist. He uses his power of persuasion to talk Yachine and his peers to join their “brothers.”

Meanwhile, Abou Zoubier, the Imam, begins to train the boys, telling them that they have been “chosen” to become martyrs.

The expression, “Fly, Horses of God,” is a frequent slogan among the first Muslims as a call to jihad.

Director Nabil Ayouch

Based in Paris, Nabil Ayouch made his debut in 1997 with “Mektoub.”

His 2000 feature, “Ali Zaoula,” was Morocco’s entry for the best Foreign Language Film Oscar.