Faouzi Bensaidi Tribute

Faouzi Bensaïdi trajets au (du) pays cinéma/trips to (from) cinema country

Faouzi Bensaïdi (1967), the author of works such as The Cliff (1999), A Thousand Months (2003), Summer Days (2022), and Deserts (2023), crafts a body of work that, marked by the contrasting and subtle nature of themes with multiple societal and cultural resonances, continually refines itself and sharpens into an eminently cinematic, lively, and ever-creative vision. Clearly, it demanded from us a gesture destined to remain a landmark date. A first in the annals of national festivals.
In a rare and dense testimony titled «In Those Years…» published in the Wachma magazine of the Tetouan Cinema Friends Association, Faouzi Bensaïdi wrote in 2004 about the famous Hollywood film, the «legend» that is Casablanca by Michael Curtis (1942): «Soon people will swear they saw Humphry Bogart downing a double scotch at the bar, and tourist buses will park outside. That would be the end of the legend. But perhaps, ‘It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship,’ Perhaps it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… between cinema and Morocco.»
Undoubtedly, this has been the challenge from the outset of the journey in 1999 with The Cliff (1999): to weave, to reweave a relationship between bonds (friendships) and distances (animosities) in relation to the sometimes heavy, debilitating weight of any «legend,» stereotype, or «still image» (Serge Daney).
Since then, there has been an ongoing, insatiable quest (investigation) around a third space-time. The Arabic title Deserts الثلت الخالي is a vacant third (2023). It translates this quest (investigation) into transient places, halfway places, or de-territories between fiction and reality.
Today, the retrospective is all the more timely, relevant as it offers the opportunity to closely examine in short and feature films the repetitions variations of an open work contributing to the construction of a beautiful mausoleum to (of) cinema in the country. Like a «musical architecture,» to borrow a phrase coined by Faouzi Bensaïdi himself.


        1. Déserts • Morocco • 2023 • 160’
        2. Jours d’été • Morocco • 2022 • 90’
        3. Volubilis • Morocco, France, Qatar • 2017 •106’
        4. Mort A vendre • France, Belgium, Morocco • 2013 • 117’
        5. Mille mois • France, Morocco, Belgium • 2002 • 124’
        6. What a wonderful world • France, Morocco, Germany • 2006 • 99’
        7. Pourquoi as-tu laissé le cheval à sa solitude? • France, Morocco • 2024 • 8’35
        8. A sunny day • Morocco, Switzerland • 2019 • 10’
        9. Arbres • Morocco • 2017 • 9′
        10. Salle, une certaine idée du cinéma • Morocco • 2004 • 8′
        11. La falaise Morocco • 1997 • 18’
        12. Le Mur • France, Morocco • 2000 • 10’
        13. Trajets • France, Morocco• 2000 • 25’