THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

MATERIALS

DOCUMENTATION

PHOTOS

SWEL & IMAD NOURY

2009 || Morocco || 108 mins || 35mm || Color || in Arabic, French || Feature

FESTIVALS / AWARDS

Berlin 10 - Panorama, Marrakech, Dubai (Best Actor Award for Said Bey)

SYNOPSIS

Sometime in the near future. The world is at war... Thirty-something X works as a clerk at the Ministry of War. He shares an apartment with Ney. The two men have an intense relationship -- as close as brothers, even seemingly romantic. Their private little universe is upset when X falls in love with a beautiful young woman, Lili. Ney accepts this abrupt change and when he meets her, he falls in love with her, too. A love triangle quickly begins with the flirty cabaret performer.  But X is unable to deal with his own happiness and he descends into madness... Based on "A Weak Heart" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

CAST

Said Bey, Fehd Benchemsi, Audrey Marnay

PRESS QUOTES

VARIETY -  Alissa Simon
An ambitious modernist take on Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1847 short story "A Weak Heart," the visually ravishing second feature from Moroccan brothers Swel and Imad Noury ("Heaven's Doors") confirms their auteur status... the metaphysical tale of a man who, unable to deal with his own happiness, descends into madness... His mental pain is effectively underlined by industrial noise on the soundtrack and expressionist visual images ... stunning production and sound design offer numerous pleasures. Shot in widescreen with the Red-One camera, the imaginative compositions have a painterly beauty whether in dingy interiors or the bright light of the beach. The peculiar costumes for the two men, redolent of Samuel Beckett's hobos or circus clowns, add to the post-apocalyptic ambience, as does X's dyed platinum shock of hair. Likewise, the well-used sound and textures score by France's conceptualist Blatter fur die Kunst builds a sense of dread.

LIBERATION – Mohammed Bakrim
Their means are those of cinematic language... We discover that these wandering beings belong within the frame, in a proliferation of signs... domestic instability, the chaos outside, music, colors... This is radical cinema... This modern cinema is inspired by the expressionist movement; the Noury Brothers are following the footsteps of Godard and Wenders ...

WE ARE THE MOVIES Blog - John Murdoch
French New Wave-style montages, 15 chapter headings, one prologue, one epilogue ... there is much to be relished in The Man Who Sold the World — the Brothers Noury have a taste for the aesthetic and conceptual: this much is clear from the Antonioni-esque compositions lensed by cinematographer Paulo Ares, the influence of Vermeer in the set decoration and, most importantly, Orson Welles’ The Trial (itself a Kafka adaptation) which is the pivotal inspiration behind this film’s theme of helplessness of the individual in a totalitarian society where love and free-thinking are dangerous dirty words. That and punk rock...