ALF CHAHR (Mille Mois/Tausend Monate)

Taking place in 1981, the film focuses on Mehdi, a young boy living in a mountain village in the Moroccan Atlas. He is waiting for his father who is supposed to return from working in France. At least, this is what his mother and his grandfather tell him. In reality, Mehdi’s father is in prison. At any moment, the child’s mental balance is about to be disturbed … Marocco/F/B 2003 Regie: Bensaïdi Faouzi 124 min, 35 mm, Farbe, Farbe; arab. OF mit dt. und franz. UT

AOUD RIH – Das Windpferd

AOUD RIH, is a portrait of an older and a young man who share a very peculiar outlook on life. As part of their emotional baggage they carry a small substitute soul that may not guarantee their continued existence, but at least makes their search more meaningful. (Quest France, Rennes, November 2001)   Marokko/F 2001 Regie: Daoud Aoulad Syad 86 min, 35mm, 1:1.85, Farbe, arabische OmU

ARAÏS AL-TEÏN (Poupées d´Argile)

The village families entrust their young daughters to Omrane, a former household employee. The girls are taken to Tunis to work as maids. Little Feddha, who has just been engaged, is unable to adapt to her new life. When Rebeh, another village girl, runs away, Feddha has a break. Off she goes on a venture with Omrane, who is in love with Rebeh, searching the town for the one who escaped to be free. With a rare mastery of form, the film suggests more than it says; it creates atmospheres rather than situations and summons without giving ready-made solutions. Metaphors of action – that keep an adequate distance between vocation and translation – eloquently express the characters’ moods, rendering dialogues scarce. Thus little Feddha puts together and undoes her clay dolls, plunging herself in an imaginary world that allows her to save a bit of the childhood from which she was prematurely deprived. Far from endulging in moralism or doctrinal discourse, the director prefers for the viewer to explain things for himself; he wishes to remain at the level Tunesia/F/MA 2002 Regie: Nouri Bouzid 90 min, 35mm, Farbe, Dolby Digital, OF mit engl. UT Publikumspreis, Nantes 2002; Festival Fribourg 2003


A few weeks before sitting for his A-levels, Reda, a 20-year-old student living in the French Provence, finds himself compelled to accompany his father who wishes to accomplish the hadj, the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca. In their car journey spanning southern France, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and finally Saudi Arabia, their initial indifference and hostility turns into mutual recognition and reconciliation. France/MAR 2004 Regie: Ismaël Ferroukhi 108 min, 35 mm, Farbe, OF mit dt. und franz. UT


They were Franco’s canon fodder: 90.000 Moroccans fought in the Spanish civil war on the general’s side. With false promises and under compulsion were they pushed into the army. Even though many of them were still teenagers, they proved to be crucial for Franco’s victory. Still, the Spanish government has never acknowledged their sacrifice: The survivors, by now Spanish citizens, do not even receive a retirement pay. Marocco/D/E 2006 Regie: Driss Deiback 80 min, Beta SP, Farbe, OF mit dt. UT Berlinale 2007


In Trances, Ahmed El Maanouni retraces the itinerary of the mythic band Nass El Ghiwane. “The group’s trances are the equivalent of our soul music, the expression of our irrationality,” says the director. “Following the example of the Nass El Ghiwane themselves, I went back to the roots. They draw their music from the last thousand years of Moroccan and African history. The film sets out to reveal and emphasize this heritage.” Marocco 1981 Regie: Ahmed El Maanouni 90 min, 35mm, Farbe, OF mit frz. UT restauriert von der Cinemateca di Bologna


In this tragi-comic chronicle about everyday life in Palestine, Elia Suleiman himself plays the taciturn and pretty miserable looking hero with the initials E.S. His fiancée lives on the other side of an Israel control post, so the two lovers can only meet at the checkpoint. Together they observe the world around them in silence. Reality seems more absurd than the best joke. A man dumps his rubbish every day in the neighbour’s garden. A Father Christmas is molested by angry children. A balloon with the face of Arafat cocks a snoot at all the checkpoints and floats over Jerusalem, while on the ground, the soldiers bungle around in an attempt to arrest the balloon. A little later, we see the soldiers exercising on a target in the form of a Palestinian woman. Suddenly a real ninja fighter looms up in front of them. The spectacular and cartoonesque action scene that ensues includes special effects that would not be out of place in The Matrix. Comparisons have already been made with the films of Tati, Nanni Moretti, Otar Iosseliani, Roy Andersson and Buster Keaton, but that would not do justice to the idiosyncrasy of Suleiman’s second feature, that has a sour and melancholy taste in its political and personal element. France/MA/D 2002 Regie: Elia Suleiman 92 min, Dolby SR-D, arabisch-hebräische OmU Preis der Jury, Cannes 2002; FIPRESCI-Preis, Cannes 2002; Spezialpreis der Jury, Film Festival Chicago 2002