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Switzerland | 2018 | 86 minutes | Mohcine Besri

Among the characters we meet in this drama set in a Casablanca hospital: a young boy with an illness, his small-town parents, his city-dwelling uncle, and the idealistic doctor on whom all their hopes depend.

 "A well-crafted and affecting drama whose healthcare in crisis theme will strike a universal chord."—Screen Daily

In an arresting opening scene, a young man stands on the side of a freeway overpass, apparently contemplating suicide. An elderly man approaches him–not to dissuade him from jumping, but rather to steal his cigarettes (why should they go to waste?) This deep cynicism, tempered with humor and humanity, sets the tone for Urgent, a drama set in a Casablanca hospital. At the center of the story are a fisherman, Driss, and his wife, Zahra, whose young son is suffering from mysterious headaches. When it becomes clear that the boy needs emergency surgery, his desperate parents must figure out how to cover the cost. Driss' brother, Houcine, owes him money, but his dubious plan to get it comes with a human cost of its own. Their only hope lies in a compassionate young doctor, recently returned from the West to work in his home country, and a jaded chief surgeon whose own compassion has long been eroded by overwork in impossible conditions. This affecting drama offers both a particular portrait of Moroccan society and a universal depiction of any healthcare system where the patients' illnesses and injuries are only the beginning of their problems, and money can mean the difference between life and death.

Justine Barda

Director Biography
Born in Meknès, Morocco, Mohcine Besri is a screenwriter, film director, and producer. After studying chemistry in Rabat and acting in several small films, he moved to Switzerland to study computer science, eventually finding work in finance and as a mathematics teacher. Besri returned to film as an assistant, then directed two short films before making his feature-length debut in 2011 with Les Mécréants. Urgent is his second feature film.

  • Original Language Title: Une Urgence Ordinaire
  • Director: Mohcine Besri
  • Principal Cast: Rachid Mustapha, Fatima Zahra Benacer, Youssef Alaoui, Said Bey, Ghalia Ben Zaouia
  • Country: Switzerland, Morocco
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 86 minutes
  • Producer: Elisa Garbar
  • Screenplay: Mohcine Besri, Cecile Vargaftig
  • Cinematographers: Denis Jutzeler
  • Editors: Naima Bachiri
  • Music: Walead Ben Selim
  • Filmography: The Miscreants (2011)
  • Language: Arabic
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Orange Studio