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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Pegase, a new Moroccan film got wings



Zineb: ‘Do you like living this way? ‘


Rihanna: ‘Yes. Because I can feel the ground. Not like me'


Then Rihanna begs to be left alone so she can ‘dream'.


When I met director Mohamed Mouftakir we were sitting next to each other in Dubai at the 7th Dubai film festival during the premier to another North African film. At the end of that film I asked Mohamed if he liked it. He said, ‘no' because it was too obvious. He told me he likes films that let the audience think or themselves not spell it out for them. And then I asked who his favorite director is and we both said ‘David Lynch' at the same time. 


Then I saw his film, ‘Pegase' (Pegasus) and I understood. This is a beautiful cinematic triumph which indeed makes the viewer think. It isn't just another art house film as many would be quick to judge. This Moroccan newcomer speaks volumes. Not only is it beautifully shot in the stunning landscape of Morocco but it is a gripping and emotionally moving story on the surface which also leaves much left to be discovered underneath to satisfy those who want to (and can) read into its underlying symbolism.


Shot with Red One in color the film is about Rihanna, a young girl in her 20s who is the victim of a psychological disorder due to a traumatic past. She is pregnant by Zayd, a young man from her village. Rihanna is convinced that her pregnancy is an act of her god, the Lord of the Horse who is a spirit of The Father, her father. While a surreal notion, this idea of hers concerning the Horse Lord stems from a neurosis and we see through dreams and through the psychiatric help of Dr. Zineb that her problem goes as deep into her psyche as her first memories.


Zineb tries to get to the bottom of Rihanna's obsession with the Lord Horse and her neurosis which proves a dark and mysterious journey. While ‘Pegase' could be considered a Moroccan horror film, it is too beautifully cinematic to be so. Rather, it is a psychological thriller with magical realism elements and a Lynchian (David Lynch) flavor in its depth and surrealism which feels like more of a moving painting that begs to be considered, studied and discussed. This is the best Moroccan film I have yet seen and hope to see more from this visionary director.


written by Vanessa McMahon Feb 25, 2011


see trailer for film here:


Film written and directed by Mohamed MOUFTAKIR
Cast- Majdouline DRISSI, Sadia LADIB, Driss ROUKH, Anas EL BAZ, Nadia NIAZI
Abdelatif CHAOUQUI, Fatima Zahra BENACER


‘For me a good film is a film that is thought of and conceived in a cinematographic approach from the very beginning. The pure language of cinema has to be at its essence.' MOHAMED MOUFTAKIR, director of Pegasus. read more about new Moroccan cinema here:


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