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Alyam Alyam + Masterclass with Ahmed El Maanouni
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A man smiling. He has many years behind him.
Alyam Alyam, dir. Ahmed El Maanouni, Morocco 1978, 90 min., Arabic with English subtitles

Alyam Alyam captures the life of land workers in the Moroccan countryside. Young man Abdelwahad becomes the principal breadwinner of the family upon his father’s death and must look after his mother and siblings, whilst yearning to move abroad. What begins as a film about shattered dreams and the shaking of the traditional social structure is soon transformed into a poignant work about the love born out of suffering.

Focusing on the farmers’ faces, honoring their images, sounds, and words, preferring not to interfere but rather to portray each aspect equally, Alyam Alyam is an excellent introduction to Moroccan cinema and a beautiful film where the tribulations of hardworking people are presented with aesthetic sincerity and restraint and the colours of life emerge and speak in their full glory through silence.

The screening is part of the Liberating Cinema Film Series 2022. It will be followed by a Masterclass with the filmmaker Ahmed El Maanouni and Barbican Young programmer Emma Bouraba.
Ahmed El Maanouni is a writer, director, cinematographer and producer born in Casablanca. His work includes one of the most emblematic titles of Moroccan cinema Alyam Alyam (1978), the first Moroccan film to be selected at Cannes Film Festival and Grand Prize winner at Mannheim Film Festival. He caught international attention with Trances (Al Hal), presented by Martin Scorsese at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival – Cannes Classics. He directs study groups and educational programs in Morocco and throughout the world.
Special thank you to the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England, AHRC UK, Goldsmiths, University of London, The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, and Cineteca Bologna.

Alyam Alyam: Restored in 2015 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with Ahmed El-Maanouni. Restoration carried out at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. 4k scan performed at Eclair laboratories

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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