With all the protests taking place the world over, my Why Morocco podcast interview with documentary filmmaker Nadir Bouhmouch this autumn about villagers protesting a mine in Morocco was incredibly timely. Nadir is the filmmaker behind Amussu, the story of the villagers of Imidir who were impacted by a silver mine that siphoned water from local aquifers for decades, eventually leaving their almond groves dry.
Fearing their fragile oasis may disappear and their livelihoods potentially destroyed, the villagers peacefully protested in 2011 and managed to shut down one of the mine’s major water pipelines. While two pipelines remain open, the villagers have managed to bring some life back to their almond groves. Nevertheless, the villagers continue to resist with what little means they have — songs, weekly assemblies, a camera, a film festival and endless ingenuity – in a protest camp which has now turned into a small solar-powered village.
In the film, which premiered at the Toronto Hot Docs Festival in April 2019, Nadir took a collaborative approach to telling the events and sought out personal and human stories that other journalists hadn’t covered. Beautifully shot, the film includes images of the oasis when water was scarce and its impact on agriculture, and footage of village daily life and more private moments captured by stepping inside homes to interview local residents.
Listen in as Nadir talks about sharing the tale of a village that, while the struggle is not over, succeeded in shutting down one of the water pipelines, thus bringing some life back to this oasis in southeastern Morocco at: https://mandyinmorocco.com/podcast/why-morocco-027-filmmaker-nadir-bouhmouch-on-the-documentary-amussu/
If, after listening, you want to start planning a Moroccan vacation, get in touch and I’ll put you in contact with Cris from Sun Trails Morocco, a private tour operator based in Marrakech. Having travelled with Sun Trails and Cris personally, I can attest that Cris is just genuinely passionate about discovering the hidden gems dotting the country. And meeting people like architects and musicians undertaking interesting initiatives. He then puts all this together in an itinerary for guests who are looking for more than just a standard tour of Morocco. He’s been on the podcast twice, so if you want to find out more, check out episode one and episode 19.
And one last request, if you are a fan of Why Morocco, I would be so grateful if you rate and review this podcast on your favourite channel or spread the love by sharing on your social media networks.