Even when you are your home country’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film, it’s hard not to get lost in the competition among all the participating countries. Morocco’s selection, the Nabil Ayouch-directed Horses Of God, has gotten the support of Oscar-winning helmer Jonathan Demme, who has signed on as presenter of the film. Inspired by the real-life 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca, the film explores how ordinary people can come to be involved in such desperate, unfathomable actions. The pic was acclaimed in Cannes, and Wild Bunch is selling distribution rights in the U.S. In a statement, Demme called the film “simply one of the very most powerful pictures that I have ever seen. Extraordinarily gripping and moving, the cinematic style is really breathtaking. I can’t remember being so blown away by the marriage of visuals and storytelling since the first time I saw Marty Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Bertolucci’s The Conformist.

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