Culture

Blockbuster movies shot in Marrakech

Per: Majda FADILI  

CINEMA The city of Ouarzazate is with no doubt the rightful holder of the title “City of Cinema”, however, the city of Marrakech is rivaling Ouarzazate for that title, as a lot of directors are succumbing to the beauty, charm and the decorative diversity of the red city. Let’s discover some masterpieces, all made in Marrakech.

The man who knew too much, 1956

The man who knew too much is a movie that belongs to the mystery and thriller genre, a film made by the famous British director Alfred Hitchcock. On the other hand, this is the remake of the white and black original movie, coming with a more colorful intake, and the best choice for that was the city of Marrakech. The action filled movie, bursting with exciting and heart dropping moments, has filmed many scenes in various locations in the ocher city, from the Medina to Bab Doukkala and especially in the Jemaa el Fna square. One of the most mythically and magically known scenes is with no doubt when Doris Day starts singing “Que Sera, Sera” a cover of the song that has been shot in one of the suites of La Mamounia Palace. Later on, this song itself will take the Oscar for best song.

The mummy, 1999            

Written and directed by Stephen Sommers, the Mummy is a beautiful movie full of adventure, it tells the fictional story of a cursed Egyptian priest that has been resurrected by archeologists in the 1920s. The two starring actors are Brendan Fraser and Rahel Weisz, they have chosen Marrakech instead of Cairo for the political atmosphere that was taking over Egypt. Moreover, a lot of the scenes that are supposed to be in Egypt are all shot in the Moroccan Sahara, to be more precise, close to the city of Erfoud.

Alexander, 2004

Directed by the amazing Oliver Stone, the same staggering director that has given this world the masterpiece that is his musical documentary The Doors. Moreover, Alexander is a movie that tells the story of the Macedonian king, one of the most famous and known figures in the course of history. The movie has been filmed in both Morocco as well as Thailand, the casting was containing big time stars: Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer and Jared Leto. Due to the need of filming in the city of Marrakech, two large warehouses have been transformed to factories that made all the accessories and décors needed, from pottery, musical instruments, lamps and miscellaneous decorative objects.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2010

Directed by Mike Newell, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, is of course a cinematographic adaptation of the famous video game, as we know, the game itself was extremely successful, and people were demanding to see the Prince Dastan brought to life, and the perfect man for the job was Jake Gyllenhaal. The production team has found in the city of Marrakech the perfect climate as well as the perfect geographical venue, fitting perfectly for the needs of the movie. The shooting of the movie has started all the way back in 2008 in a small village nestled in the heart of the Oukaimdan mountains; this latter needed the help of 20 workers just to make a clear path to make the village accessible. Various scenes that portrait the Iranian valley among others have all been shot in different locations in the red city, including Tamesloht and the Agafay Sahara. 

 

Photo: Dr

Translation: Amine Ouahbi