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Opens Friday, February 10

Daily (except Saturday, February 11 & Sunday, February 12):
12:15   2:45   5:15   7:45

Saturday, February 11:
12:15   2:45   7:45

Sunday, February 12:
2:45   5:15   7:45


Shortlisted for the 2023 Academy Award® for International Feature Film.

The medina of Salé, one of the oldest in Morocco, is the setting for THE BLUE CAFTAN, the nuanced story of a husband and wife who create elegant, hand-embroidered robes (caftans or djellabas) in one of the city’s small, traditional shops. This subtle tale of romantic intrigue between two men (the tailor and his assistant), surprisingly focuses on the emotional life of the wife, played by Lubna Azabal (INCENDIES). With a delicate touch and exquisite eye for detail, director Maryam Touzani (who wrote the script with her partner, filmmaker Nabil Ayouch), illuminates both the precise craft of caftan-making (the garment is lovingly perfected throughout the film) and the unspoken yet deeply felt attraction between two men — in a country that criminalizes same-sex relationships.

With support from the R.G. Rifkind Foundation Endowment for Queer Cinema


THE BLUE CAFTAN is the second film in a trilogy of work following Touzani’s feature debut ADAM (2019). Centered on single motherhood — another taboo subject within Moroccan society — and also starring Lubna Azabal, ADAM was never released theatrically in New York City. It will screen at Film Forum on February 11 at 5:15, introduced by Touzani.


“A film of exquisite sensuality... transfixing delicacy and restraint… its supple rhythms hypnotic, its atmosphere potent and its prevailing hushed tone and intimate camerawork affording us the closest possible access to three characters who in turn are constantly studying one another… A film of overwhelming tenderness — in exchanged glances or tactile moments as fleeting as one hand lightly touching another.”
– David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“Entrancing. A nuanced and empathetic tale about sexuality and mortality… it’s Touzani’s exacting craftsmanship, and her interest in her actors’ expressive eyes that tunnels toward a wellspring of spontaneous emotion. Nothing short of brilliant, and the delicacy she imbues this story with is nothing short of potent. THE BLUE CAFTAN isn’t afraid to let romance be life-changing.”
– Robert Daniels,

“Stunning... a film about the many different kinds of love — romantic, platonic, familial, sexual — and the ways they can’t help but intersect at complicated moments in our lives... Working with an intricacy that rivals that of the craftsman at the center of her film, [Touzani] crafts a surprisingly warm story that subverts expectations at almost every turn. Delightful... a reminder that each human soul is worth a lifetime of exploration to someone. Remarkably sweet and life affirming. Anchored by three remarkable performances and a beautiful script that never wastes a line, Maryam Touzani made a film that oozes love from almost every frame.”
– Christian Zilko, IndieWire

“Beautifully textured... superbly acted and emotionally resonant. Sharply written by Touzani... a keenly tuned non-judgemental exploration of an enduring relationship. Lubna Azabal and Saleh Bakri have a gently cracking chemistry.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen



Opens Friday, February 10

Film Forum