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The Satanic Angels (2007)
"Les anges de Satan" (original title)

6.4
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Casablanca, 2003. 14 young hard-rockers are arrested and condemned for sentences from 3 months to 1 year. What are the accusations? Satanism and shaking the foundations of Islam. Based on actual events.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mansour Badri ...
Hakim
Younes Megri ...
Momo's Father
Driss Roukhe ...
Kader
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oulad Ahmed ...
3d Inspector
Amal Ayouch ...
Lawyer
...
Ali
Rafik Boubker ...
Said
...
The judge
Oussama Boulane ...
Enfant curieux
Youssef Britel ...
Hicham
Amal Chabli ...
Meriam
Abdellah Chakiri ...
2d Inspector
Youssef Chakiri ...
Momo
Salah Dizane ...
Police officer
Ahmed El Maanouni ...
The Wali
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Storyline

Casablanca, 2003. 14 young hard-rockers are arrested and condemned for sentences from 3 months to 1 year. What are the accusations? Satanism and shaking the foundations of Islam. Based on actual events.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

1 February 2007 (Morocco)  »

Also Known As:

The Satanic Angels  »

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Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Is inspired by the actual arrest of fourteen young hard rock musicians in March 2003 who were accused of Satanism and shaking the foundations of Islam, and subsequently sentenced to jail. Because of the inflammatory content, the film was refused shooting permits for almost all of its locations, including a Moroccan courtroom which had to be reconstructed in a church in Casablanca at the very last minute. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Finally, a film about metal which is not a documentary.
7 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

Heavy metal and its supporters throughout history, as well as the present, have shown that apart from creating great music, heavy metal is mostly all about controversy, pushing the boundaries of the "norm" and fighting for what you believe in. Most of us should be familiar with the cases of metal bands having the trouble of putting up with accusations of Satanism: Black Sabbath, Black Widow, Iron Maiden, most Norwegian black metal bands (even if some of them really are…), Rotting Christ and, most recently, Behemoth; all had trouble with playing concerts because of such accusations. (The list could go on…and on.) Ahmed Boulane's film The Satanic Angels portrays exactly this, however, in a more extreme case.

The film is set in Casablanca, Morocco where the very young members of two bands, Apocalypse Now and To Be Free, are kidnapped by the police and imprisoned. Not only the band members but also people related to the band in any way; for example, the Egyptian owner of a coffee place where the band and friends hang out. And for what reason are all these people imprisoned (without bail), tortured and put on trial? Because of all the brainless stereotypes surrounding metal: worshipping Satan, eating cats, doing drugs and… singing about Palestine (?!). According to the authorities in the film, these people have "shaken the foundations of Islam" just because they play the music they love and wear black T-shirts.

This film makes you wonder how easy it is for us here in the West. We've heard of the stories of bands like Iron Maiden being dubbed Satanists just because they write songs with the Devil in the lyrics (in this case: Maiden's The Number of the Beast album). Sam Dunn's documentary Global Metal has portrayed heavy metal fans in Islamic countries having the difficulty of expressing themselves freely. Apart from Global Metal, I haven't experienced visually what The Satanic Angels has to offer. With Boulane's film we're taken into the core of the action… the brutal slaughter of human rights. In contrast to the events mentioned above The Satanic Angels actually presents the consequences of being "different" in a conservative country and, thus, a huge difference to the consequence of accusations of Satanism in the West – which usually is not being able to play gigs or releasing albums (very rare nowadays!). Although it portrays how the system is corrupt and dominated by Islamist fanatics, it is also a (true) story of how public opinion can alter the government's actions – the young men are found innocent after persistent action taken by the band members' relatives and close friends.

Apart from certain cheesy lines such as "We're artists. We'll never be understood.", the performance of the cast is exceptionally well acted. The director uses interesting camera angles, such as during the court scene when we see a skull underneath the judge's desk. Additionally, the way the politicians are shown observing a demonstration (held against the imprisonment of the young people), it gives a feeling as if they came out of their caves… The biggest downside for me, however, would be the rather simplistic choice of music for the soundtrack.

Political and socio political questions can also be picked up from the film. Why is it okay for Chinese people to eat cats and dogs but not okay for Muslims? Why are no women imprisoned and tortured? Why does the police want to avoid an international case by sending back the two foreign girls? (The latter has a more obvious answer, I believe.) All in all, The Satanic Angels is a great watch and is recommended to everyone in the metal community but also anyone interested in the violation of human rights. May I also say: Finally, a film about metal which is not a documentary!!! The band(s) acting in this film is a disbanded Moroccan black metal act Tormentor of Souls.

Originally written for MetalRecusants.com


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