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Wednesday May 22nd 2024

Black Hawk Down | 2001

Ridley Scott’s jittery, bleached-out account of the 1993 US mission to capture Somalian warlords that went so disastrously wrong is set in ‘Mogadishu’, pretty much a no-go area. The film was made in Morocco, largely around Rabat and the nearby city of Sale, across the Bou Regreg River, on the Atlantic coast.

Sale was deemed to be pretty similar to Mogadishu, where the working class district of Sidi Moussa was transformed into the Somali capital. Avenue Nasser, the main strip, became Mogadishu’s ‘Hawlwadig Road’.

The ‘Target Building’was built from scratch on a football ground (don’t worry, the film company built the city a new football stadium), and Mogadishu’s ‘Bakara Market’ was reconstructed in a courtyard off the Rue de Consuls shopping street of the 17th century Rabat medina.

The first Black Hawk is downed in the Hay Arrahma district of Sale, about two miles from Avenue Nasser.

The US military base is the Royal Moroccan Air Force Field at Kenitra, on the coast twenty miles north of Rabat, and the firing range was constructed on the beach at nearby Mehdiya.