« De quelques évènements sans significations », Mostafa Derkaoui (1974)
Born in 1944 in Oujda, Mostafa Derkaoui is a Moroccan director who studied at the School of Cinema of Lodz in Poland. « De quelques événements sans significations » (1974) is his first movie, an engaged avant-gardist piece, questioning the role of cinema and artists in a time of political oppression, immediately censured. A group of idealist film-makers walk down the streets of Casablanca looking for a topic for their movie, they meet in bars and investigate the recent birth of Moroccan cinema, while coming across a young harbour worker fighting for survival and against the injustices he daily undergoes.
A whole generation of artists, poets and musicians, such as Nissaboury, Zafzaf, Melehi, Belkahia, Jil Jilala band, took part in the production and/or shooting of the piece in the popular districts and bars of the harbour of Casablanca. This mobilisation of the world of cinema, literature, music and arts for the creation of an independent cinematographic work is unique in the cultural history of Morocco. Nonetheless, the movie has remained invisible since its very realisation due to the censorship of some, and the misunderstanding of others who judged it too experimental.
However, thanks to the fortunate recent founding of the movie’s negatives at the Filmoteca de Catalunya, which recovered them after the bankruptcy of the laboratory in charge for the film development during the Seventies, Atelier de l’Observatoire has initiated an action for the restoration and diffusion of the work, which will be widely shown in Casablanca, Morocco and in international circuits. In parallel, by the end of 2017, a publication will be released, collecting the results of a long-term research project around the movie’s history and its context, for which interviews and public talks with the director and all the protagonists of this venture will be frequently organised and opened to students, artists and researchers.
Reactivation of an unique collective dynamic in moroccan art history
The rediscovery and reactivation of this oeuvre today is crucial for the cultural, social and political history of the country, particularly considering the uniqueness of the “collective cinema” experience of its production and filming and as constituting a key document witnessing and narrating the cultural and political effervescence of the Seventies.