Moroccan screenwriter Maryam Touzani’s directorial debut is an incredibly mature story about an atypical friendship between two women who become each other’s support in a crisis. Abla, a widow and the mother of 8-year-old Warda, runs her own little bakery in Casablanca. Pregnant Samia left her hometown to look for any sort of work she can find in the city, knocking on one door after another to no avail. Despite initial resistance, Abla invites Samia to stay with her. By touching on painful topics—such as unprocessed grief, unwanted pregnancy, social ostracism and the situation of single mothers in Moroccan society—Adam focuses on creating realistic psychological portraits of the main characters. With discretion and understanding while avoiding melodramatic ploys, Touzani builds a microcosm in which touch, shared work, conversation and empathy become the building blocks of the healing relationship between two emotionally scarred women. One of the film’s strong points is its immersion in local details: a major role is played by photogenic baked goods, including rziza (little turban), a handmade delicacy made of a dough known in Morocco as pâte à Rghayef.
Born in 1980, Maryam Touzani is an actress, director and screenwriter who spent her childhood in Tangier, and studied in London. She directed two short films and co-wrote Nabil Ayouch’s film Razzia, in which she also played one of the main roles. Adam is her full-length debut.