Amussu + Interview Event
Nadir Bouhmouch & Movement on Road '96 / Morocco 2018 / 1h40m / Tamazight with English subtitles / 12
See below for interview.
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 in what the villagers have dubbed “Amussu xf Ubrid n ’96” (Movement on Road ’96). Nevertheless, the resilient women, men and children of the village continue to resist with the little means they have - songs, weekly assemblies, a flimsy camera, a film festival and endless ingenuity.
Amussu was made through a unique production method inspired by both Latin American revolutionary filmmaking practices of the 1960s (Grupo Ukamau, Third Cinema) 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 - in particular children, unemployed youth and women - at the heart of the filmmaking process, allowing direct expression and making them active participants as opposed to passive subjects.
We spoke to Naima OUCHTOUBANE about the film. Naima is an activist of the Imider protest movement and works with Imider women in a literacy program. She is also one of the producers of Amussu, which was produced collaboratively. Read the interview here.