Renault 12

Following the death of his mother, the French theatre maker Mohamed El Khatib sets off on a journey to Morocco to take up his inheritance and arrange for his mother’s transfer and funeral. This road trip, rich in metaphors and intertextual references, is accompanied by a Renault 12.

“You must come to Morocco in a Renault 12 to take up your mother’s inheritance. Mohamed El Khatib’s autobiographical road movie from Orleans to Tangier begins with this call from his uncle. The aim is to initiate the transfer of his mother and at the same time to get closer to the family history in a historical vehicle with cult status. With this collage of documentary film footage, diary entries and intertextual references from Barthes to Cervantes, the French theatremaker creates a field of experimentation in a genre hitherto unknown to him. A result that can best be described as “docufiction”.

With detailed photographs of the road map, El Khatib sketches, like a chronicler, the various stages in his mother’s life, right up to the last, long ordeal in hospital. Authentic audio and video recordings from this time accompany his journey. For his sister, her brother’s philosophical filmmaking is an immoral exploitation of intimate family moments, while an actress friend of his, on the other hand, considers the philosophical blathering of concepts to be useless: “What is the difference to a feature film for you? In the documentary, they only have a small camera that is constantly moving. In the feature film, the camera doesn’t move.”

Statement von Mohamed El Khatib

“Renault 12 is a cinematographic experience based on documentary material: the death of my mother. I use audio and video to reveal some of the cultural differences between my family from Tangier, myself and the hospital environment. Renault 12 is a fragmentary history of development that traces the funeral procession to the rhythm of its various rituals from both sides of the Mediterranean. It thus combines two perspectives of transit, that of a coffin from France to Morocco and that of a heritage from Morocco to France”.

Mohamed El Khatib

*1980. the Frenchman Mohamed El Khatib is an all-rounder. Once a professional footballer, he later completed a degree in political science and earned his doctorate in sociology. He is far better known in the cultural sector as an author, theatre-maker, performer and filmmaker – fields he sees as equally politically charged. In 2008 he co-founded the Collectif Zirlib, which aims to realise documentary-fictional projects with representatives of the working class.


AUTOR: Mohamed El Khatib
Frédéric Hocké
Fabrice Osinski, Antoine Bailly & Nicolas Jorio
Elodie Dombre & Vincent Terlinchamp
Amrita David
David Vranken
Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée & Les Films d’Ici – Serge Lalou
& Camille Laemlé
Dérives,Waq Waq Studio,Collectif Zirlib,Arte
France,RTBF,TV 2M Maroc
Camille Laemlé & Julie Frères
CNC,Fonds d’Aide à l’Innovation Audiovisuelle,Fonds
Images de la Diversité,la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles,La Région
Occitanie,CICLIC,SCAM (Brouillon d’un rêve),Dispositif La Culture avec la
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