Morocco has become one of the world’s favorite sets for films that have a desert feel. In one of the regions most stable countries and with an affordable cost of doing business, more and more directors and producers are choosing Morocco. Check out some of these movies filmed in Morocco.
The Hollywood of Morocco
Ouarzazate was once a small desert outpost and today is known as the Hollywood of Morocco. It was a small trading post for traders who came through the Sahara. During the French protectorate it was a military outpost and customs depot. It rose to prominence in 1983 with the creation of Atlas Film Studios. This studio is the largest in the world (based on acreage) and an estimated 75% of films shot in Morocco are done in this area.
But most American movies filmed in Morocco rarely portray Morocco. Instead the country stands in for other destinations around the world that are much harder to access either due to geography or safety concerns. As much as Morocco is proud to host film crews there also is a sense that it would like to portray itself. There are many concerns that come from being the placeholder, and people are beginning to challenge the portrayal of the country. It’s a double edged sword (you can read more in this great article from The Guardian).
I’ve rounded up films and episodes of series you can stream on Netflix right now (July 2018) that were filmed in or set in Morocco. Not all of these titles will stream in all Netflix locations and there may be more titles available in different countries. I’ve based this list off of what is available in the United States. There are dozens more and I’ve also put together many of those that you can find on Amazon.
Netflix is constantly changing their catalog offerings so I will try to update this list as often as I can. Sometimes there are a lot of titles that are available while other times there are only a very few.
Movies About Morocco and Set in Morocco
Admittedly there are few movies or series available on Netflix that portray Morocco as Morocco. However, I did find some.
The Time in BetweenAdmittedly there are few movies or series available on Netflix that portray Morocco as Morocco. However, I did find some. The Time in Between is a film adaptation of the book by Maria Duenas. “With Spain on the brink of civil war, a Madrid dressmaker follows a lover to Morocco, loses a fortune, and ends up a spy for the allies.” The movie takes place in a time that is not often portrayed on film with a strong female character. You can also visit many of the filming locations thanks to this post – Filming Locations in Morocco for “The Time In Between” TV Series
Morocco in Times of Love and War
This is a Spanish series (and while dubbed in English the Spanish version flows better), set in northern Morocco during the Spanish protectorate in this region. It takes place during the Rif Wars and while has a decidedly Spanish bias does share a period of history in Morocco rarely seen on the screen.
This is a good psychological drama from 2006 that follows multiple stories happening all over the world include one storyline that is set in rural Morocco.
Black Hawk Down
You might not know it but this movie was filmed in Morocco. It takes place during the civil unrest in Somalia in the early 1990’s however most of the filming actually happened in Morocco – near Rabat to be more specific.
Cooked: Episode 3
This series of episodes narrated and led by Michael Pollan is a Netflix documentary (meaning no matter where you are in the world, if you have access to Netflix you’ll be able to stream). Episode 3 focuses on air and is largely set in Morocco featuring the importance of bread + air.
Movies Filmed in Morocco
“Murder, betrayal, miracles, resurrection – the beginning of the beginning gave life to juicy drama.” This 2013 miniseries aired on The History Channel and broke a lot of viewership records and was filmed between Marrakech and Ouarzazate. A.D. The Bible Continues was a follow up miniseries that aired on NBC and was also filmed in Morocco.
The Bourne Ultimatum
The third in the Jason Bourne films the story trails a CIA assassin who is searching for information about his past. The movie features scenes that were filmed all over the world including Tangier, Morocco.
Men in Black International
The latest in the MIB series, this movie was shot in large parts in Marrakech. Unlike many films that use Morocco as a backdrop for other locations, this film actually does use Morocco and Marrakech as it is. Perhaps not the most cinematic or thought provoking film ever it is a fun watch.
Queen of the Desert
This movie is modeled after the real life story of Gertrude Bell, a British socialite who left England for the Middle East in the early 20th century. Though the film got mostly negative reviews for being too slow or lacking complexity. Personally I found it an interesting watch about a period of time and region rarely covered.
Game of Thrones
Not available to stream of Netflix right now but a popular watch is this series. Two different locations in Morocco were used for filming.
The TV mini-series based off the book by the same name, The Red Tent was filmed in Morocco as well as blockbuster film Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
There’s been a slew of new films and TV series that have been filmed in Morocco including some of these movies that you can get on Amazon to either rent or purchase.
(If you subscribe to Amazon Prime you can also stream many of these — though note if you’re outside of the US there are also streaming restrictions). If you’ve never been a prime member you’ll also get a free 30 day trial to test it out when you sign up.
For even more movies that aren’t available on Netflix, you can find DVD’s on Amazon that are worth a watch. I’ve collected several here to make them easier to find.
Othello (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Collection)Lawrence of ArabiaOedipus RexPattonThe Jewel of the Nile (1985) [Blu-ray]THE SHELTERING SKY (1990) – Debra Winger (DVD, Region All)Kundun (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]Hideous KinkyThe Mummy (1999)GladiatorRules of EngagementBlack Hawk Down (3-Disc Deluxe Edition)Spy GameExorcist – The Beginning (Widescreen Edition) by Warner Home VideoHidalgoSahara (Full Screen Edition)Babel [DVD]The Hills Have Eyes (Unrated Edition)The Bourne Ultimate CollectionInceptionPrince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]Sex and the City 2 (Blu-ray)Captain Phillips [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]American SniperMission: Impossible – Rogue Nation [DVD]
Saturday 14th of March 2020
The movie Close available Netflix has also been shot in Morocco.
Tuesday 6th of September 2016
Thanks for posting this list. I am currently trying to learn darija. Im at the extreme beginners level and hope to improve my listening skills. (I live in the USA). Any suggestions for Moroccan movies in darija?
Tuesday 19th of July 2016
Thank you so much for this! I love Morocco and movies, so it's a perfect combo for me. Deb