17th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

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9 – 12 September 2021

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Thanks to all who have entered films to this autumn’s festival. We will let you know about the selection status of your film by the 9th of August.

Rhythms of Marrakech

Available online

17 September – 11 October, 2020

In Marrakech, musicians gather to play together, bringing a new tempo to the city. As groups of men and women play these devotional songs to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammed, the city thrums with the sound of drums, cymbals and neffar and voices singing in unison.

Introduction

Rhythms of Marrakech

An introduction from filmmaker Izza Génini

Rhythms of Marrakech

Opening with shots of the Atlas Mountains that surround it, Marrakech is the Moroccan city that most tourists visit, but in this film Génini shows the red city through the lens of its inhabitants. Suggesting that the city is a crossroad of Arab, Berber and African cultures, conveyed through music, Génini focuses on the traditions of the city’s vibrant music cultures, expressed through the festival of Achoura—a celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed.

Génini observes rhythm as a feature of the people of Marrakech and the expression of collective joy is located in hands and voices; women are shown beating drums and ululating. The women are seen parading through the street, and then singing together in an interior space, sat on brightly coloured rugs, backs against the tiled walls.

Gathering in the old market of Jamaa El-Fna, men perform a similar ritual in the streets of the city in a ceremony that can last all night long. They follow the leader, improvising upon tradition and adding their own twist to these rhythms.

Génini captures small moments of mundanity with charm: a cow chews its owner’s robes, children play in the gardens of the city, and in the lilac dawn of Marrakech, men prepare to feast. A shot from above of men dressed in white as they gather round a plate of food to eat almost resembles a flower; the movement of each body a petal opening and closing. These shifts in perspective serve to refocus the viewer’s attention, kinetic energy of bodies in motion. —Myriam Mouflih

Short Biography

Born in Morocco and of Moroccan ancestry, I spent a happy childhood and teenage before moving to Paris with my parents. Some fifteen years, later, certain to have exchanged the moroccan culture for a fully integrated Parisian life, I decided with my husband to have a week of vacations in Morocco. The warm atmosphere caught hold of me as soon as I went out of the plane. It was  then the beginning of a love reunion with my native country. Step by step, this lead me into the most enthralling experience of my professional life, to be finally the director of a whole collection of documentary films, for an homage and a sharing of this huge culture that Morocco and Moroccans were offering to me with such a generosity!..

.The title “MOROCCO BODY AND SOUL” forced itself upon me at once and inaugurated the way that was spread with infinite fights and joys and produced some twenty documentaries that are here presented. They tell, each one in its own way, about the soul and the body of Morocco. 

Filmography

Filmography

Nûba d’or et de lumière / Nûba of gold and light

Tambours battant / With drum beating

Pour le plaisir des yeux / For the eyes’ delight

La route du cédrat / Citron, fruit of splendour

Voix du Maroc / Voices of Morocco

Concerto pour 13 voix / Concerto for 13 voices

Retrouver Oulad Moumen / Return to Oulad Moumen

Gnaouas / Gnaouas

Nuptiales en Moyen Atlas / Nuptials in middle-atlas

Vibrations en Haut Atlas / Vibrations in high-atlas

Moussem / Moussem

Rythmes de Marrakech / Rhythms of Marrakech

Malhoune / Malhoune

Chants pour un Shabbat / Songs for a Shabbat

Cantiques Brodés / Embroidered canticles

Louanges / Hymns of praise

Des luths et délices / Lutes and delights

Aïta / Aïta

Transes / Trances (as producer)

Director

Izza Génini

UK Premiere

Production Country

Morocco

Production Year

1989

Duration

26 mins

Dialogue Language

Arabic

Subtitle Language

English

Print Contact

Izza Génini