Festival de Martil shines the light on cultural heritage

Per: Hind SEMLALI  

DOCUMENTARY Ombres et Lumières, a 56-minute documentary directed by Mohammed Marouazi (Ali, Rabiâa et les autres, Les amies d’hier,Mémoire en détention) on the ksars in the south of Morocco will be presented at the Festival de Martil in June. He took us into the sandy streets of the south and behind the walls of these old, abandoned homes.

Made in Tanger: Where did you get the idea for this documentary?
Mohammed Marouazi: To tell the true, I never scheduled or planned this project. The idea came to me when I met an interesting character, La3far, is his name, it’s one of the occupants who was my guide and host. This modest Sahraoui lives in Palais Hassani, one of the several ksars that was left in ruins, in plain view, helpless. At the time of my visit, I had the idea of filming this subject and getting the opinions and also the feelings of the locals.

Made in Tanger: How do the locals manage the restoration problem?
Mohammed Marouazi: They’re not managing it, they don’t have the means. One of them tried by himself to restore little by little the walls but as he said it’s a lost cause. Materials and professionals are needed. We tried just to avoid it but our children will be hurt if one of the walls crumbles.
These ksars are a cultural heritage and even touristic that we’re losing. These walls can tell our story over time, when human memory is no longer around. I came back once again to La3far who told me that his wish is to relive the 17 years when the palace was in a good state, alive, and when you walk around them. If the Ksars are nothing more than ruins, it’s our fault.

Made in Tanger: What message do you want to spread through this documentary?
Mohammed Marouazi: The importance of these palaces in the lives of the Sahraouis and to help connect the people in the South and South-East who live in really difficult conditions.

Made in Tanger: After Ombres et Lumières, what other projects do you have to direct?
Mohammed Marouazi: I’ve never looked for a project to direct, things just come naturally. I’m actually working on a new project about slaves and “Haratines” as we call them in the South, it’s also part of our heritage.

Find more information about the Festival de Martil on Made in Tanger’s events listings.

Interview Hind Semlali
Photo Karim Ramzi
Translation Mandy Sinclair