Ahmed El Maanouni – Alyam, alyam AKA Oh the Days! (1978)
Set in a small village in the Moroccan countryside, Alyam, Alyam tells a story culled from the lived reality of young men almost forty years ago while still remaining very much of the present day. A young man named Abdelwahed pins his dreams of a better life for himself and his family on travelling to France and finding work there. As the eldest of eight children, he becomes the principal caretaker and breadwinner for his family after his father passes away. He fills out forms and waits for his work permit to arrive. Meanwhile, Hlima, his recently widowed mother who’s reticent to let him go, tries in vain to dissuade him and enlists the help of Abdelwahed’s grandfather too. As the days flow by to the cadence of life in the countryside, marked by the hardships of farming, Abdelwahed waits. All he can do is wait. Straddling fiction and documentary, Alyam, Alyam is Ahmed El Maanouni’s first narrative feature, and the first Moroccan film ever to be selected at the Cannes Film Festival. Recently restored, the film’s splendor and finely crafted editing has become available once again for cinéphiles and new generations to discover.
Much honored but long impossible to see, this classic of Arab cinema has been restored under the supervision of its director, Ahmed El Maanouni, who observes, “I did not look for spectacular beauty, but made an effort to let the imagery of the rural world speak through abstraction and silence…. Almost 40 years later, when I watch Alyam Alyam again, I am still comfortable with my aesthetic choices and my intuitions, but I cannot avoid noticing how, from beginning to end—from the opening shots with the blood shed by the camels to the crowd of peasants appearing from behind the hills—it all seemed to presage the current tragedy experienced by the thousands whose broken dreams lie at the bottom of the Mediterranean….”
1.83GB | 1h 27m | 1280×720 | mkv