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Our Dark 70s

Spring Grant 2013 - Production Stage
Current project status: COMPLETE

Ali Essafi / Feature Documentary / Morocco, Qatar / 2014 / 75 min / Colour and B&W / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Based on a True Story, Violence


‘Our Dark 70s’ is an archival footage project that uncovers the artistic creativity of Morocco’s 70s. This is sustained by three victims’ accounts from this period’s repression known as the ‘Years of Lead’. Stories about activism, torture and resistance are told by two former political prisoners and the mother of a missing person. Through a collage technique, the film unearths the mood and creativity of an era that has long been censored.


Ali Essafi
Ali Essafi
Ali Essafi

About the Director

Born in Morocco in 1963, Ali Essafi studied psychology in France then entered the world of filmmaking. His works as a director include ‘Général, nous voilà’ (1997), ‘The Silence of the Root Fields’ (1998), ‘Ouarzazate Movie’ (2001) and ‘Shikhate's Blues’ (2005), which have won awards and were praised on the international circuit. In 2002, Essafi was back in Morocco, where he became involved in public television for three years as an art direction advisor. His last film, ‘Wanted!’, commissioned by the 10th Sharjah Biennial in 2011, was selected for MoMA’s Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s to Now series.

Production Company Profile

Cinemaat Prod was created in 2006 by Ali Essafi and Hakim Belabbes, two directors with a common background in non-fiction film production and an interest in the preservation of memory. Cinemaat was created to address the lack of production structures that support research into new cinematic languages in Morocco. This structure allows us to produce our own projects, and also serves as a platform for young artists in training and production to realise their early works.


  • Main Contact

    Ali Essafi

    Cinemaat Production

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