No joke: Meet two American backpackers in a Café in Marrakech. One of them says: “I’m mainly because of the film festival here. Imagine, that is now headed by a German!“ – “Aha,” says the other, “to teach the Arabs probably discipline and order?” Here is the Backpacker wanders: born in münster, Christoph Terhechte, was seventeen years for the Forum section of the Berlinale, was engaged in Marrakech as the new artistic Director, because he is a renowned connoisseur and lover of the Moroccan cinema. In 1999, he was selected for the Forum program, with films from Morocco.
The international film festival of Marrakech, in 2001, the liberal king, Mohammed VI, initiated, had been conducted in the past decade, in a rather self-glorious way by a French company. Now it should open up more to the local audience. “The Festival must not be a space ship, in the town lands, but must have its roots in the Region,” said Terhechte. “It is an international Festival, but with a focus on Morocco, the Maghreb, the Arab world and the African continent.”
All of the festival events have always been free admission for everyone – hardly anyone knew just yet. To change this, toured Terhechte ten days by universities and other institutions. In addition, he called a children’s film program. He won the approval of the Ministry of education, was convinced by a teacher in the public schools and organized the Transport of the classes in the Cinéma Colisée, the oldest movie Palace of Marrakech. A great success: More than three thousand children came to the demonstrations; most of them had never seen a cinema screen.
the walls, men erected
Up to the seventies there was in Morocco a very vibrant movie theater culture, but since then, more and more movie houses were forced to close, and today only around thirty cinemas – there are a startling number for a country with more than 30 million inhabitants. A good two dozen Moroccan films have been produced in the past year. Seven of them, all worth seeing, ran in the newly launched Panorama series of the festival. They showed a country in the field of tension between Tradition and Modernity.
Outstanding: “Sofia”, the cleverly-constructed directorial debut of Meryem Benm’barek about an unmarried twenty-year-old Moroccan, who is pregnant, which is why you will be sentenced to imprisonment. In order to escape her, she says, ready to marry a guy she knows, as well as not. While the men in the video are passive, talkers, do not want to take responsibility, try to the women to solve problems and advance society. However, you may find walls that were built by the men.
A pessimist more a portrait of his homeland, signed by Mohcine Besri in “Une urgence ordinaire” (“ordinary emergency”), the only Moroccan contribution in the international competition of the festival, which exclusively first or second work as a Director, are permitted. The microcosm of a crowded clinic in Besri to the Image of a sick society. One of the protagonists moans after a bizarre botched suicide attempt: “What a country! If you want to die, let you go in peace. And if you want to live …“ Instead of the phrase, around he is pointing to the Chaos around him. We see desperate parents sell their own child to be able to surgery pay. We are experiencing a System where without bribes nothing works. And we hear people say after a successful bribery: “I knew you have a good heart!”