Morocco Oscar Movie
8/24/2011 10:41 PM
Morocco Competing at Oscar Foreign-Language Race
Morocco Oscar Movie entry: "Omar Killed Me" ("Omar m'a tuer") , Director: Roschdy Zem
The true story of Moroccan immigrant imprisoned for murder near Cannes, "Omar Killed Me" examines a penal system in which French police and prosecutors were eager to pin the crime on a convenient target. Director Zem is currently receiving raves for the limited stateside release of "Point Blank.
The events began in June 1991 with the murder of 65-year-old Ghislaine Marchal, who was found stabbed and beaten to death in the basement of her villa, located in an affluent suburb north of Cannes. Among the clues discovered at the crime scene was the grammatically incorect inscription “Omar m’a tuer”, (see pictures below), (roughly translated as “Omar kill me”), written in Madame Marchal’s blood and pinpointing her gardener, Omar Raddad (Bouajila), as the murderer.
The local police and prosecutors were less concerned with infallibly proving Raddad’s guilt than with nabbing an easy suspect: an uneducated, illiterate Moroccan who was incapable of defending himself in court. Crosscutting between Raddad’s long and harrowing prison sentence, and the investigations of a novelist, Pierre-Emmanuel Vaugrenard (Denis Podalydes), whose humanist beliefs push him to write a book proving the man’s innocence, the pace barely lets up during a compact 85 minutes of engrossing historical dramatization. And despite a timeline that stretches for over a decade, Zem convincingly centers things around the gradual rehabilitation of Raddad both in his own eyes (he learns to read, write and better himself while in jail) and in those of the public (he would eventually be pardoned by French President Jacques Chirac, though his conviction has yet to be overturned by the French courts).
Source: Hollywood Reporter
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