“What do you know about men?” a voice asks over the opening credits of Nabil Ayouch’s provocative portrait of several female sex workers in Marrakech. “Men are like makes [of cars]: high-end, medium, and sons of bitches. All that matters is the cash.” Noha (Loubna Abidar), Randa (Asmaa Lazrak), and Soukaina (Halima Karaouane) are professional, thick-skinned, and practical about their line of work, which ferries them up and down the city’s class ladder and renders them vulnerable to a catalog of possible abuses. Controversially banned in Morocco for its “contempt for moral values,” Much Loved offers such a candid and unblinking picture of a subculture that it’s a perilous job to represent on screen.
This film has no current screenings