Festival Programme My account

20TH edition NOVEMBER 24 TO DECEMBER 2, 2023

The Wretched Life of Juanita Narboni (La vida perra de Juanita Narboni)

Farida Benlyazid

Morocco, Spain

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Director's Biography

A true pioneer of Moroccan cinema, Farida Benlyazid has to her credit many accomplishments that have made her a central figure in the nation’s cinema. She is the first Moroccan woman to produce a film, an accomplished screenwriter who has written several classics such as Poupées de roseaux (1981), Badis (1989) and Looking for My Wife’s Husband (1995) and the director of a body of work that addresses issues of spirituality, the status of women in society and the quest for justice and truth. A free and independent artist, Benlyazid has paved the way for many Moroccan women directors who have looked to the director of A Door to the Sky (1989) and Women’s Wiles (1999) as an inspiration and a model.

Darija, Spanish, French, English
Fri 18/22h/Salle des Ambassadeurs

Juanita tells of her sorrows and desires, and the lives of the women around her: her sister Helena, educated at the Lycée and searching for her freedom; Esther, a close friend who devotes her life to an impossible love; and Hamuch, the faithful maid. Against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the arrival of Spanish-Moroccan troops in Tangier and, soon after, World War II and a stream of refugees from Europe, Juanita is the final witness to the paradise that was the Tangier International Zone. After Morocco gains independence in 1956, Juanita finds herself alone in a city that is returning to its Arabic origins.

Director Farida Benlyazid

Producer Kenza Dioui

Screenwriter Gerardo Bellod, based on the novel by / d’après la nouvelle d’Ángel Vázquez

Cinematographer José Luis Alcaine

Production DesignerPepe Domínguez

Editor Pablo G. Plant

Sound Bartelome Alcaine

Music Jorge Arriagada

Mariola Fuentes, Salima Benmoumen, Lou Doillon, Chete Lera

Production Company Tingitania Films, Zap Procucciones


Morocco, Spain






Darija, Spanish, French, English