Culture

Othello, premier film américain en terre marocaine

CINEMA Directed by Orson Welles (1915-1985), Othello has many roots. The tragedy was written by Shakespeare, the film was directed by an American, with certain scenes shot in Morocco over the course of two years.

Filmed partly in Morocco, Essaouira to be exact, and the rest in Italy, the film tells a tragic story.

It's the tragic story of a Lieuntenant (Iago), seeking revenge on his General and Governor of Cyprus for leading him to believe that his wife (Desdemona), the daughter of the senator, cheated on him with his personal servant. After learning the truth from Emilia (Desdemona's servant), Othello killed his wife and committed suicide. Cassio was then named Governor of Cyprus as Iago was about to be executed.

In addition to directing the film, Welles also played the main role of Othello. Other lead actors include Michael McLiammoir in the role of Iago, Joseph Cotten, the senator, and Suzanne Cloutier in the role of Desdemona. Welles lived in Marrakech before falling in love with Essaouira, where he spent two years thinking about the film. He paid tribute to Essaouira by using the Bab Doukkal and Squala regions as a background in the film.

For financial reasons the film was filmed over two years and in black and white. Yet despite this, he received the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1952.

Othello was released in 1952 , encouraging other directors to shoot there, even if it's only a few shots. Today, the city is an essential background for many international directors.

The city has honoured him with a statue in his name and two green spaces: Othello Gardens and Place Orson Welles. Both are facing the ocean along Boulevard Mohammed V.

Orson Welles and Essaouira, a love story set amid a tragedy.