“Sound of Berberia”, interview with the director

This article is also available in: Italiano

This week we took you on a journey into Tuareg music, we thought the best way was to end with a real roadmovie. “Sound of Berberia” is a journey of two friends in the desert in search of true Amazigh music. We are proud to introduce you to Tarik El Idrissi, director of this project that started from afar and is now starting its final phase.

K: The idea of the film comes from afar, but what was the first episode that led you to think of making a film?

T: When I was a student at the film school, I was immediately told to think about the message I wanted to communicate, that’s where I understood that I wanted to bring Amazigh music and culture into a real movie. I was hoping to leave with my cousin to do a sort of roadmovie but several problems kept us braking in the start. In a sense, this is a film of the journey that I always wanted to do with him and also the way we shot it focuses on this idea.

Sound of Berberia

In a sense, this is a film of the journey that I always wanted to do with him and also the way we shot it focuses on this idea. What drives Kino and Fouad to undertake this journey and who is the mysterious Amina?

T: The first drafts of the script mainly concerned Kino and Fouad, Amina gained weight as the project progressed. We wanted to do something that was a hybrid between a documentary and a film and we realized that his character could be very interesting.

Sound of Berberia

Kino is a Moroccan immigrant to the Canary Islands who, once he returns to Al Hoceima from his friend Fouad, will undertake this journey. The two will be joined by Amina, a mysterious journalist looking for a scoop, and together they will leave for Mali.

K: What is “real amazigh music” for you and where does your desire for this research come from?

T: The “real sound” is a metaphor for something that goes beyond all frontiers, which in particular will be revealed at the end of the film. With our research work for “The Sound of Berberia” we hope to have highlighted how rich the diversity of the Amazigh language and culture is. Just think that it goes from “Andalusian” melodies like those of the Canaries to real African rhythms such as those intoned by the Tuareg of the Sahara.

K: The sound of amazigh music is made up of various souls ranging, only in the Algerian case, from kabyl to tuareg, how difficult was it to organize everything?

T: Most of the film was shot in Morocco because of the logistical difficulties of going to other places. Unfortunately it would have been impossible to shoot in places such as, for example, Timbuktu because of the serious problems in the country.

K: What was the impact of the “Festival au Desért” on the ideation of the film and on Berber culture in general?

T: Of course it influenced us a lot, it had to be one of the stages of the journey with my cousin. We had also made contact with local guides to fully enjoy the Festival, once the desert was peaceful.

Sound of Berberia

K: Even in his previous film “le voyage de Khadija”, he addressed the theme of returning to his homeland. How strong is this desire in Moroccan culture? Do you see differences between imazighen / berbers and arabs in this?

T: There is a very strong desire in my filmography as in Moroccan culture, which returns cyclically to the surface. The issue of the two peoples is complex but, from the Amazigh point of view, there are no Arabs in Morocco but only Arabized imazighen. Consequently, it is very difficult to establish whether there are real differences.

K: What does this film represent for Tarik El Idrissi and what would you like to convey to your audience?

First of all, I would really like to show the Amazigh people and to rediscover their identity on a journey that combines roots and music. I can’t wait to immerse you in my culture, a treasure that I am proud to reveal to you.

We deeply thank the director Tarik El Idrissi for the nice interview and Marta Bettenzoli for organizing it. The film has been shot at the moment and is raising funds to complete post-production, if you are interested in the project you just have to contribute. Click here to see their crowfunding project, for every donation there are delicious rewards. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date.

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