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Jewish-Moroccan Film Week

The film festival is presented by the Jewish-Islamic Forum

May 30th, 2016

Morocco was once home for the largest Jewish community in any Arab country. In the mid-20th century more than 250,000 Jews resided there, but between the 1950s and 1970s the majority of them left for Israel, Europe, and North America.

Today, about 2500 Jews are still living in Morocco, most of them in Casablanca. For the last twenty years there has been a growing interest in Moroccan Judaism. Young Muslim Moroccans are rediscovering the Jewish heritage in their country, and the descendants of Jewish Moroccan emigrants are retracing the histories of their parents and grandparents and exploring the traditions, narratives, and music of this long ignored culture.

From May 8-12, the film week “My heart in the Maghreb” presented a variety of perspectives on Moroccan Judaism, with feature and documentary films from France, Canada, Israel, and especially from Morocco itself, most of these films being shown in Germany for the first time. All the films showed are in the original language with English subtitles, and following the screenings the film directors will be present to answer questions in English.

The film week was accompanied by an introductory historical talk and a closing panel on the culture of memory and Jewish life in Morocco today (both in English). The week opened with a concert by the Jewish singer Neta Elkayam, who discovered her own roots in traditional Arab melodies and carries on this Moroccan Jewish cultural heritage with her own original songs. All events except Neta Elkayam’s concert took a place in the Hall of the W. Michael Blumenthal Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin.

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News from Berlin
Maurycy Barański, Berlin Global