Immediately before his arrest, a thief manages to bury his loot atop a hill in the Moroccan desert. After a long prison sentence, he returns to pick it up only to find a new village there with a heavily guarded shrine right over his stash. He wants the loot back, but can't rob the now holy burial site. He'll have to become part of the community to get his illegal property back.

Debut director and scriptwriter Alaa Eddine Aljem's bone-dry crime film ponders religion and community-building in unusual ways. He depicts the small desert village as a dynamic, unpredictable place that develops into a fully fledged community through a combination of coincidence, superstition and tradition. A new dilemma emerges: taking his loot robs the nascent collective of its sole reason for existence.

International title
The Unknown Saint
Filmmaker
Alaa Eddine Aljem
Country
Morocco, France
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
100’
Language
Arabic
Producer
Francesca Duca, Alexa Rivero
Production Company
Le Moindre Geste Productions, Altamar Films
Sales
The Match Factory GmbH
Writer
Alaa Eddine Aljem
Cinematography
Amine Berrada
Editor
Lilian Corbeille
Production Design
Kaoutar Haddioui
Sound Design
Yassine Bellouquid, Paul Jousselin, Matthieu Deniau
Music
Amine Bouhafa
Cast
Younes Bouab, Anas El Baz, Hassan Badida, Abdelghani Kitab, Salah Bensalah, Bouchaib Semmak, Mohamed Nouaimane