115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Tale of Emancipation : Re-imagining New Gender Scripts 

Jimia Boutouba, Santa Clara University

This paper examines the way Zakia Tahiri’s film Number One (2009) foregrounds a renewed understanding of gender and gender relations in contemporary Morocco, especially in the wake of the New Family Code Reform. 


A Tale of Emancipation : Re-imagining New Gender Scripts


In 2009, French- Moroccan filmmaker Zakia Tahiri released her first feature film entitled Number One which dramatizes the advent of the New Moudawana, a revolutionary law reform that has reshaped gender relations in contemporary Moroccan society. In so doing, it has also unleashed a wave of anxiety and conflicting reactions that bespeak a deeper malaise. The present article explores the filmic and narrative strategies that Tahiri uses to foreground these dramatic changes. How does she document the changing dynamics in gender relations? How does the film construct the image of a new society based on social justice, gender equality and an impetus for more democratic values? How does it participate in the shaping of a new ideology and in the imagining of a new nation? Whilst the film offers a vivid expression of the contradictions in society as a whole, especially at the level of gender and class relations, it also attempts, through the comic frame, to expose and dismantle the normative constructions of masculinity and their constraining effects on the private and public spheres.