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Get in the Mood: What to Read and Watch Before Going to Morocco

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Are you planning a trip to Marrakesh soon? To get you started, here are some series, novels, and movies set in Morocco to get a better understanding of the culture, the landscapes and the history. Enjoy!

The Blue Caftan

We find ourselves in Salé, a traditional caftan shop in the heart of the medina. This movie was the winner of the Critics’ Prize in the Un certain regard section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The life of the shopkeeper, a married man repressing his homosexuality, is quickly turned upside down when a young apprentice arrives.

Available on Google Play

The Sand Child by Tahar Ben Jelloun

The Sand Child is a celebrated work of international fiction that explores power, colonialism, and gender in North Africa. It follows a Moroccan father’s determination to circumvent Islamic inheritance laws. How? By raising his eighth daughter as a boy named Mohammed Ahmed. The story explores the complexities of traditional Arab-Islamic societies and has gone on to become acclaimed worldwide. Its writer, Tahar Ben Jalloun, is a Nobel Prize nominee for literature.

Extraordinary Places to Eat: Marrakesh

In this BBC2 series, TV chef Andi Oliver joins Fred Sirieix on a culinary adventure in Marrakesh. Despite the tourist influx leading to milder dining options, they explore hidden gems, including a renowned lamb dish and a surprisingly delicious tagine at an unconventional spot—a gas station.

Available on Prime Video


James Bond’s 24th film as 007 finds him on the run in North Africa, including the medina of Tangier and Asilah. In fact, the record for the biggest explosion in a movie was set in the desert near Erfoud. It was there that one of the most memorable final scenes took place.

Available on Prime Video

In the Country of Others by Leïla Slimani

The author tell the love story between a young Alsatian woman and a Moroccan man, a veteran of the French army. It draws inspiration from her own grandmother’s life story. When they settle in Meknes, the couple is confronted with isolation, degradation and racism. But will their love be able to conquer everything?

Nabyla Maan

With her musical repertoire, the Fez-born artist Nabyla Maan will take you on a journey through the medina. Recognized as one of the big names in contemporary Moroccan music, she’ll have you on your way to Morocco in no time at all.


The Cannes Film Festival praised this movie, which stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal and Koji Yakusho. Babel takes place in three completely different universes that are linked by a multi-dimensional cast of characters. Arguably one of the most stunning movies set in Morocco, specifically in Ouarzazate and Agdz.

Available on Prime Video

The Mother of All Lies

This is a story about a young woman and her quest to find the truth aout her family. In this award-winning auto-fiction, director Asmae El Moudir navigates between personal and national history. The scars of a nation and a forgotten page of Moroccan history are revealed through the exploration of her own past and that of those close to her.

In cinemas February 2024

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Immortal chef Anthony Bourdain travels to Morocco in episode 5 of the first season of Parts Unknown. In Tangier, he explores the city that has seen the likes of the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, in addition to introducing us to gourmet destinations to add to our lists.

Available on YouTube

A Year in Marrakech by Peter Mayne

Although this autobiographical book dates from the 1950s, the decades that have passed are barely perceptible. The author’s vivid descriptions and disarming honesty will enchant any reader as he recounts his daily life among the bustling markets and secret alleys of Marrakech.

Departures: Morocco

The young Canadian trio find themselves in Spain before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in this first episode of Departures season 2. They pass through Fez for the first time before venturing into the Atlas Mountains, where they spend the night in a traditional Moroccan casbah.

Available on Prime Video

The Forgiven

Set in Morocco and starring Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes, John Michael McDonagh’s new film The Forgiven, is a powerful collision between the haves and have-nots. Several scenes were shot in Tanger, around Erg Chebbi and in the desert town of Erfoud.

Available on Crave

Game of Thrones

The epic fantasy series, which is often considered to be the most popular of all time on a global scale, has seen its movie sets set up all over the world, including in Morocco. The city of Yunkai (the yellow city) is actually Aït-Benhaddou and Astapor (the red city) is the city of Essaouira.

Available on Crave


The film which won Russell Crowe the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2000, tells the story of Maximus Decimus, a Roman general who is betrayed and enslaved. He rises through the ranks as a gladiator and takes his revenge. The fortified village of Aït-Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is featured in many films, and it is here that Maximus is taken as a slave for his gladiatorial training.

Available on Prime Video

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