Arab Film Festival | Sofia

(France/Belgium/2018—directed by Meryem Benm’barek) 

Sofia (Maha Alemi) is a 20-year-old, middle-class Moroccan woman—the out-of-wedlock mother of a newborn—who’s being forced to marry the baby’s father, who she hardly knows, in order to avoid going to jail. With this situation as a starting point, first-time writer-director Meryem Benm’barek has created a lean, richly layered drama that not only earned her a standing ovation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, but also received the festival’s prestigious Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize.

While deeply involving on a human level, Benm’barek’s razor-sharp script takes a merciless look at class hypocrisy within Moroccan society, and those who would preserve an aura of European “sophistication,” regardless of the human consequences. Sophia marks the promising debut of one of the most distinctive cinematic voices of her generation. In Arabic and French with English subtitles. (79 min.)  

Presented in partnership with the Arab Film Festival and the Arab American National Museum. For a complete festival schedule and ticket information, visit  


 All DFT programs are made possible with generous support from your tri-county millage investment and Buddy's Pizza. 

Logo for the Arab American National Museum
Buddy's Logo