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Negotiating DissidenceThe Pioneering Women of Arab Documentary$
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Stefanie Van de Peer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696062

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696062.001.0001

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Izza Génini: The Performance of Heritage in Moroccan Music Documentaries

Izza Génini: The Performance of Heritage in Moroccan Music Documentaries

(p.168) Chapter 6 Izza Génini: The Performance of Heritage in Moroccan Music Documentaries
Negotiating Dissidence

Stefanie Van de Peer

Edinburgh University Press

This case study looks at a much overlooked and ignored filmmaker from Morocco, Izza Génini: the first woman to be truly dedicated to making documentaries in a country where documentaries were actively discouraged. Morocco’s political, economic, cultural and social devastation during the Years of Lead in the eighties determined censorship and prevented any sort of filmmaking for a long time. People were disappeared or killed by government spies, and production was at an all time low. It was moreover determined by an exceptionally strict censorship board. Nevertheless, as producer and director, since the eighties Génini has managed to make pertinent observations of celebratory aspects of her mixed culture. Her family is Jewish, and it is a hidden aspect of Moroccan society that a large contingency of Jewish people used to live peacefully side by side with the Moroccan Arabs. Through depictions of traditional music and dance, celebrating hidden customs, her films defy national timidity and homogeneity. She was the first woman to make documentaries in Morocco that were not sponsored by the state, and remained so until well into the nineties.

Keywords:   Morocco, Izza Génini, Music and heritage film, Jewish Moroccans, Years of Lead, Censorship, Documentary, Ahmed El Maanouni, Trances

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