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Silent Cells

What happens with women in Moroccan prisons? Walls of concrete and silence are hiding a taboo, which is difficult to remove. The director Mohamed Nabil did everything to tell the story of Moroccan women's prison. After many difficulties and two years of waiting for a filming permit, he and his team were finally able to enter this secret world.

In this inspiring and moving documentary, the protagonists are not only defined by their crimes, but tell the truth seen through their eyes. Interviews with former female prisoners unveil the unspeakable. The film raises provocative questions about the prison system and society in Morocco and offers remarkable pictures of inmates and prison staff.

  • Mohamed Nabil
  • Mohamed Nabil
  • Eva Leonardi
  • Mia Paradies Productions, Berlin, Germany
    Production company
  • George Steffens
    Director of photography
  • Alexander Heinze
    Sound design
  • Doreen Ignaszewski
  • Doreen Ignaszewski
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Samt Azzanazin
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Human Rights
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mohamed Nabil

Mohamed Nabil grew up in Morocco, where he studied philosophy and pedagogy. For four years he taught philosophy and social sciences at the high school in Morocco before immigrating to Canada in 2001. There he studied journalism and political science in Quebec and Film Studies in Montreal. In 2005 he shot his first university short film in Canada: "Philosopher". Since 2006, Mohamed Nabil lives in Berlin and works as a freelance journalist, artist and filmmaker. In 2009, he founded the production company Mia Paradies Productions, together with Eva Leonardi. "Women's Dreams", a film about German women converted to Islam, was his first documentary in 2010 and had a lot of success. The documentary “Jewels of grief” about single mothers in Morocco made in 2013 is the first part of a film trilogy about women in Morocco. It was shown on several international film festivals around the world as well as on BBC World Arabic television. The brand-new documentary "Silent cells" about female inmates in Moroccan prisons is the second part of the film trilogy about women in Morocco. The third one will follow soon.
Filmographie Mohamed Nabil:
2006 – Philosopher, fiction short film, 6 min. (director and producer)
2010 – Women’s Dreams, documentary film, 38 min. (director and producer)
2013 – Jewels of grief, documentary film, 74 min. (director)
2017 – Silent cells, documentary film, 65 min. (director)
• Festival International du Film Documentaire Khouribga, Morocco, 26.-29.10.2011
Winner of the Prize for the Best Direction for Women’s Dreams
• 12th Dhaka Filmfestival, Bangladesh, 12.-20.1.2012
Special Mention for Women’s Dreams

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