The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us. 

WECHMA aka TRACES (1970)

Run Time: 1:27:00
Producer: Sigma 3
Director: Hamid Bénani
Editor: Ahmed Bouanani
Key Cast: Mohamed Alkaghat, Tawfik Dadda, Khadija Moujahid


Wechma (Arabic: وشمة) (English “traces”) is a Moroccan film directed by Hamid Bénani, released in 1970. The film is considered one of the best Moroccan films of all time.

Wechma marks a departure in Moroccan cinema: a feature film that is experimental, particularly in the second part, breaks with conventional narrative structures and abruptly counters naturalism with Freudian symbolism and sequences that are downright fantastical. – Berlinale

Hamid Bénani was born in 1942 in Meknes, Morocco. He studied Philosophy, after which he completed a degree in Film at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris. In 1970, Benani co-founded the production company Sigma 3 along with Ahmed Bouanani, Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi, and Mohamed Sekkat. That same year, he made his first full-length film, Wechma.


“Be aware. Death is just in front!”

Orphan Messaoud is adopted by a childless farmer at the age of eight. His adoptive father disciplines the gentle child with extreme severity, leading to ever more rebellious behaviour in the traumatised youth. As a young man, Messaoud gets involved with a group of violent ne’er-do-wells and lives his life on the edge.


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