Nadir Bouhmouch | Morocco 2018 | 2h19m | Tamazight with English subtitles | 12
In Imider, Southeastern Morocco, a rapacious silver mine has siphoned water from local aquifers for decades, drying out the almond groves belonging to an Amazigh community. Fearing their fragile oasis might disappear and their livelihoods destroyed, the villagers peacefully rebelled in 2011 and shut down a major water pipeline heading towards the mine. Eight years later, they continue to resist in a protest camp which has now turned into a small solar-powered village. Dozens have been arrested for taking part of what the villagers have dubbed “Amussu xf Ubrid n ’96” (Movement on Road ’96). Nevertheless, the resilient villagers continue to resist with the little means they have — songs, weekly assemblies, a flimsy camera, a film festival and endless ingenuity.
This documentary was made through a unique production method inspired by both the revolutionary Third Cinema filmmaking practices of 1960s Latin America, as well as indigenous Amazigh models of direct democracy. Inscribed within the struggle of the very subjects it films, Amussu strives to establish a bottom-up and participatory method that places marginalised communities at the heart of the filmmaking process, allowing direct expression and making them active participants as opposed to passive subjects.
This screening is presented in partnership with Document Festival.