Wide Angle

Diaspo #54 : Khalid Maadour, a filmmaker who wants to denounce injustice

Born in 1976 in Nador, Khalid Maadour is a film enthusiast. Since the 1990s, he led a successful career in France and in Morocco as an actor, especially after starring in 2004 in Marock, a movie directed by Laïla Marrakchi.

Khalid Maadour, Moroccan actor, comedian and movie director./Ph. DR
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Khalid Maadour debuted his career as an actor in a French series broadcast in the 1990s. He is now best known as a comedian and movie director. Khalid’s parents moved to France only six months after his birth.

«Under the Protectorate, France needed cannon fodder. My father was forced to join the Indochina War. Six months later, we moved to France», he told Yabiladi.

An actor

Once in France, Khalid Maadour discovered his passion for arts. «In 1989, I started doing theater plays with a small troupe not far from Lyon», he recalled. Alongside his studies, the young man continued performing with the same group until the day he was discovered by movie director Jean-Marc Boeuf. The latter offered him a role in 1996 in a French series called «Madame la Proviseure».  

«Through that role I started liking cinema and acting», he recalled. Once in Paris and after graduating school, Khalid Maadour was supported by an agent in the industry.

«I made beautiful artistic and professional meetings», said the comedian. «I thank all the women who have guided me throughout my career and my life, because of them I have managed to lead a successful career in French cinema».

«Being a star has never been the ultimate goal for me», he told Yabiladi. Indeed, in Paris the actor studied cinema at the University of Paris-VIII and embarked on a new professional adventure. He believes that he is mostly influenced by Jean Cocteau, a French poet, writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker.

As an actor, Khalid Maadour starred in well-known movies, such as Michel Hazanavicius's «OSS 117 : Le Caire, nid d’espions», «Il était une fois dans l’oued» by Djamal Bensalah and «Comme tout le monde», directed by Pierre-Paul Renders. He also participated to a series called «Kaboul Kitchen» and broadcast on Canal +.

A revelation on the big screen

In Morocco and starting from 2013, he made three television movies in addition to mini-series in Tamazight, about his homeland: the Rif. «Going back there to shoot movies was a childhood dream coming true», he said.

But before getting behind the camera, Khalid Maadour participated since 1999 in films shot in southern Morocco. He was popularized more widely in his native country in 2004, after starring in «Marock», a movie directed by Laïla Marrakchi.

Later, his popularity in the Kingdom was confirmed after his participation in Zakia Tahiri’s «Marhaba».

For his directing, Khalid has a special and precise vision as he explains : «Every country has its advantages and disadvantages. To improve the daily life of each person, I believe that we must show our flaws and know how to talk about them. When a doctor wants to heal you, he tries to kow what is hurting you. I think we have to do the same thing in cinema».

Khalid wants to use cinema in order to denounce injustice or «hogra» as many people like to call it in Morocco.

«My heroes are often portrayed as ordinary people who are rejected by a part of society», he pointed out.

Allowing young artists to shine

In his trilogy, the director involves seasoned actors with amateurs, with the idea of allowing them to evolve in the world of cinema. Khalid Maadour appreciates surrounding these people with professional actors, «because the exchange between them adds a special magic to the shoot». The editing phase allows the director to revisit this magic that occurs, where he realizes that non-professional actors can also do «good» work.

Among these artists in the making, we have Fouad Dkhissi, Mohamed Benhamou and Soufiane Bouras. In addition, Khalid believes that Yabiladi that the best-known artists he featured in his films, is Silya Ziani. «A rising star : a good singer and a great actress», he stated.

The artist, one of the leading figures of the Rif Hirak movement, plays the main role in the film entitled «La lettre et le tambourin». Entirely shot in Rifain, this one tells the story of «a married couple through poetic songs», also revealing actors like Mimoun Zanoun or Mounia Meziani.

As for Silya Ziani, she interprets the role of a singer and a poet, and a professional bendir-player accompanied musically. «This osmosis meant that everyone around us came to listen to them», explains the director. This artistic marriage eventually united them, but life will separate them before bringing them together again».

Silya Ziani also plays the main role in the short film «Captive», directed by Rachid Amaghtoug and Amine Elmadrassi and shot this time in Darija.

Advocating for a universal social cinema

Through his artistic works, Khalid Maadour aims to defend a universal cinema, showing societies' disarrays. «Whatever the hogra and wherever it is, it must be denounced: it is a question of civility, values of respect for others and it is a state of mind», he says.

His films and his projects thus become a real plea to no longer ignore the societal dysfunctions that animate feelings of injustice among many citizens of the world. For him, it is «a call to hope, to believe in the strength of love and life».

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