Inspired by the novel Les étoiles de Sidi Moumen by Mahi Binebine, Les chevaux de Dieu tells the story of two brothers who grow up in a poor neighbourhood in Casablanca. At an early age they become familiar with drugs and crime. Through a mixture of poverty, dissatisfaction and fury, they become fascinated by Islamic fundamentalism and decide to become martyrs for Al Qaeda.
No one is born to be a martyr. The film can be regarded as a study of the motivations of terrorists: how do they reach the point where they want to give up their lives in an attack?
A film that sows the seed of understanding for Islamic terrorists is automatically controversial. But it’s a clever achievement on the part of Nabil Ayouch that he manages to persuade the viewer not only to understand the protagonists, but also to empathise with them. The film does not condemn them, so we can’t simply judge them.


International title
Horses of God
Filmmaker
Nabil Ayouch
Country
Morocco, France, Belgium
Year
2012
Medium
DCP
Length
115’
Language
French
Producer
Nabil Ayouch, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Eric van Beuren, Patrick Quinet
Production Company
Les Films Du Nouveau Monde, Stone Angels, YC Aligator Film, Artémis Productions
Sales
Wild Bunch
Writer
Jamal Belmahi, based on a novel by Mahi Binebine
Cinematography
Hichame Alaouie
Editor
Damien Keyeux
Production Design
Hafid Amly, Hind Ghazali
Sound Design
Eric Lesachet, Zacharie Naciri
Music
Malvina Meinier
Cast
Abdelhakim Rachid, Abdelilah Rachid
Website
http://wildbunch.biz/movie/horses-of-god