“In Your Eyes, I See my Country”: Kamal Hashkar’s New Documentary on Moroccan-Jewish Culture

After the success of “Tinghir Jerusalem”, Kamal Hackhar returns with “In your eyes, I see my country”, a touching documentary on the Judeo-Moroccan musical heritage.

“I understood while making Tinghir Jerusalem that this is not going to be my last Moroccan Judeo-Moroccan film. My second film continues to explore the Jewish part of Moroccan identity through the figures of the third generation,” says the Franco-Moroccan director.

“My project is based on this idea of our recovered memories and the need to recreate links through culture between our younger generations. It is also a way to challenge the fatality of the great History that separated our parents.”

Through four central characters, the film explores the memory found by following in the footsteps of Neta Elkayam and Amit Hai Cohen, a couple of artists who live in Jerusalem, but whose roots are Moroccan.

Neta Elkayam’s father, an artist, singer and painter, was born in Tinghir, and his mother in Casablanca.

As for Amit Haï Cohen, pianist and self-taught artist, his mother was born in Tizgui, a Berber village near Ouarzazate, and his father in Djerba. It is notably to him that we owe the exhibition “Ziara”, dedicated to Moroccan artists, at the Jerusalem Biennale.

Together, they have created a group aimed at reappropriating their culture, revisiting their Judeo-Moroccan musical heritage and, on stage as in life, they explore this dual identity, as if to repair the wounds of exile experienced by their parents.

The documentary follows them on a journey to Morocco, marked by musical encounters, which will transform their perception of themselves and what they want to become. Then came the dream of recreating bridges with the country of their ancestors.

About Kamal Hachkar

Kamal Hachkar is an independent Franco-Moroccan filmmaker. Born in Morocco, he left his native country at the age of 6 months with his mother to join his father, who immigrated to France. His entire childhood was marked by the movements of his father, a worker, who is particularly dear to him.

He holds a master’s degree in history from the Sorbonne University, and then became a professor of history. In 2012, he directed his first documentary, “Tinghir Jerusalem: the echoes of the mellah”.

Selected at numerous festivals around the world, the film has won several awards and sparked a national debate on Morocco’s plural identities.

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