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Books & Films

Morocco has inspired many authors and artists throughout its history. Henri Matisse, Eugene Delacroix, and Winston Churchill are among the painters who found inspiration in Morocco’s dramatic landscapes and beautiful light. Morocco has provided a literary home to a number of well-known expatriate authors, but Moroccan authors have themselves gained international attention in recent years. Morocco has also become a popular shooting location for Western film companies, as its picturesque old cities and desert ksars can stand in for any number of exotic locations. Here is a list of some of our favorite books about Morocco and some of the many films that have been shot in Morocco. You’ll be surprised at how many international locations have been “played” by Morocco.


Hideous Kinky, by Esther Freud
Zohra's Ladder: And Other Moroccan Tales, by Pamela Windo
The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles
The Spider's House, by Paul Bowles
The Sand Child, by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Sahara Unveiled, by William Langewiesche
Travels with a Tangerine: From Morocco to Turkey in the Footsteps of Islam's Greatest Traveler, by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
A Street in Marrakech, by Elizabethe Warnock Fernea
Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood, by Fatima Mernissi
(This particular book is a fiction, Fatima Mernissi is a renowned political scientist who has published a number of books on women in Muslim societies).

If you’re looking for a travel guide, we particularly like the Knopf Eyewitness guidebook. If you like to travel with a map, Michelin number 959 is the one you’ll need.

Othello (1949) Shot on location in Essaouira
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1955)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Shot on Location in the Sahara Desert, Ait Ben Haddou
Patton (1970) Shot on Location in Ouarzazate
The Man Who Would Be King (1975) Shot on location in Ouarzazate
Rollover (1981)
The Jewell of the Nile (1985) Shot on location in Ouarzazate
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Shot on location in Ait Ben Haddou
Highlander 3 (1994)
Kundun (1997) Shot on location in Imlil and Ourazazate
Hideous Kinky (1998) Shot on location in Marrakech
The Mummy (1999) Shot on location in Ouarzazate and Merzouga
Gladiator (2000) Shot on location in Ouarzazate and Marrakech
Rule of Engagement (2000) Shot on location in Ouarzazate
The Mummy Returns (2001) Shot on location in Ouarzazate and Merzouga
Black Hawk Down (2001) Shot on location in Sale
Spy Game (2001) Shot on location in Casablanca, Ouarzazate, and Skoura
Live from Baghdad (2002) Shot on location in Ouarzazate
Alexander (2004) Shot on location in Marrakech and Ouarzazate
Hidalgo (2004) Shot on location in Merzouga
Sahara (2005) Shot on location in Ouarzazate, Merzouga and Oujda
Kingdom of Heaven (2005) Shot on location in Ouarzazate
Babel (2006)
The Hills Have Eyes (2006) Shot on location in Ouarzazate (we really don’t recommend this movie, but we promise there are no zombies in Morocco)
Home of the Brave (2006) Shot on location in Marrakech
Rendition (2007) Shot on location in Marrakech
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Traitor (2008) Shot on location in Marrakech
Body of Lies (2008) Shot on location in Rabat
Prince of Persia (forthcoming 2009) Shot on location in Marrakech and Ouarzazate

Were you looking for “Casablanca?” Many people are surprised to learn that none of the filming took place in Morocco!


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