Mohamed Abderahaman Tazi is among Morocco’s most acclaimed and prolific filmmakers. His 1993 feature comedy, A la recherché du mari de ma femme, remains the country’s biggest cinema success to this day.

The screening of Searching – sometimes translated as Looking for My Wife’s Husband - is the final in a series of monthly cinema screenings under the Learn Africa Love Africa banner, and hosted by the African Arts Institute. The series was presented in partnership with the M-Net African Film Library, home to the largest collection of African cinema titles in the world.

Searching is a comedy that parodies the intricate Islamic laws of polygamy. In the Islamic state of Morocco, it reached close to one-million spectators within months following its release, twice as many as its closest rival to date. A large number of pirated videotapes were produced and distributed countrywide within weeks of the film being released.

The colourful tale is set in a modern middle-class harem. The three women in the harem are married to Hadj, an endearingly rotund gold merchant. Each of the wives hails from a different generation. They have evenly divided up their wifely duties and get along quite well. Things run smoothly, until Hadj gets mad at the youngest wife, throws her out and chaos ensues.

Tazi hails from the bourgeoisie of Fez. He trained in Paris as cinematographer and lived in both Europe and the US before co-founding a filmmaking cooperative back in Morocco. In 1970 this cooperative produced what is recognised as the first Moroccan feature film, Weshma, by Hamid Bennani and with Tazi as cinematographer.

With five feature films on his sheet, Tazi is one of the most prolific Moroccan filmmakers. His second film, Badis, was critically acclaimed and received numerous awards at international festivals. Over the course of his career he had worked with a number of well-known international directors including John Huston, Robert Wise, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese on films they made in Morocco.

Searching for My Wife’s Husband will be screened at the Labia on Orange on Tuesday, 13 December at 18:15. The screening will be preceded by a Spier Creative Block wine tasting from 18:00.Tickets are R30. Book at the Labia at 021 424 5927 or [email protected].