Research Article

Femininity Construction between Rebellion and Victimization in L’Amante du Rif (2011)


  • Ahmed Touhami Ouazzani Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University, Fes, Morocco


This article examines femininity construction in Narjiss Nejjar’s film L’Amante du Rif (2011). This work has stirred a heated debate among cinema critics and movies goers regarding Nejjar’s rebellious representation of women. The study of female identity in films directed by a Moroccan female filmmaker would certainly contribute to the understanding of the complex relationship between the filmmaker’s gender and the discourse they produce; films directed by women offer the opportunity to have women’s experiences, concerns, and aspirations reported by women, which helps the audience and critics alike find out how the filmmaker’s gender has an impact on femininity construction. This article tries to deconstruct women’s cinematic discourse and gauge the extent to which their films can be of help to the women’s emancipation project. No doubt, the cinematic work or the film is the manifestation of a cluster of elements such as politics, ideology, and gender that interplay to produce meaning or a certain reality. Amidst these variants, the content analysis seems to be a suitable method that can situate Nejjar’s film within the women’s filmmaking map. The paper adopts a feminist approach to test the extent to which Nejjar’s unconventional gender representation has served women’s cause. The paper concludes that Nejjar has tried to introduce a rebellious feminist perspective by tackling taboo issues and using obscene language. However, according to some critics, Nejjar’s film was not appreciated by a large segment of the Moroccan audience because it does not respect the local specificities of Moroccans. Moreover, the tragic fate of the two main characters, Aya and her mother, aligns with Carter's notion of women's defeatism in film endings (Carter: 2009, 309).

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

5 (8)





How to Cite

Ouazzani , A. T. (2023). Femininity Construction between Rebellion and Victimization in L’Amante du Rif (2011). Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 5(8), 85–93.



Moroccan Cinema, Gender, Narjiss Nejjar, Femininity, Patriarchy