Saturday, November 25, 2006
Habiba EL Madkouri, a voice of romance and tenderness
Habiba EL Madkouri, a voice of romance and tenderness
As she was preparing to enter to the stage of the Royal theatre in the sixties in the Capital of Morocco , Rabat, she sighed a deep breath heavily making a gentle wave and a courageous moving head shake to her master , AbdelKarim Follouss . She stepped in dressed like a fairy queen ,stared willingly at her audience . Among them, there were resistance nationalists disguised like theatre-goers . In the center of the stage , this woman stood confidently uttering the first theatrical word to the audience that felt menaced by her heavy presence and consenqueltly it rewarded her with a long silence.
She was not disturbed by the front spot lights nor the flashing lights that came out swiftly from journalists and cameramen . With a magical move towards the audience , she impressed theatre-goers with her dramatic secret words of life using her soft and sweet voice.
As soon as she finished her lines , everybody stood up plausing her heartedly especially the way she said her soliloquy . They knew then that a star was born , and she was a promising actress. Some saw in her Greta Garbo, others Vanessa Redgrave ,But that lady was only Habiba El Madkouri . It is a name that is engraved eternelly into Moroccan memory,
ALLAL EL ALAOUI,
Allal : why did Brahim Sayah choose to dub stage Indian classical movies in the sixties ?
Razak : This man, Brahim Sayah was fascinated by the Indian movies , could you name us what kind of movies you played in and what kind of roles you did then ?
Habiba : Dosti was a great movie , i played the mother and also in Mangala . Sayah was extemely intellegent he would choose Hindi movies that had great affinities with Moroccan who were anti-colonizations ; El Haraka al Watania , the resistant People were thankful for that . It helped them to get the message,because through language, i mean Moroccan slang , we filttered a lot of information and we inserted good will for the Moroccan will to go ahead
Habiba : Brahim Sayah was a great men , I mean a technician, journalist and aboce all a filmmaker. He chose me personally becausr he heard my voice and he was impressed by it .
Allal : what kind of techniques you had been taught to use in the auditorium and how were the moods and moral between actors and actresses of playing roles ?
Habiba : The ambiance was great especially in radio times , We sat at the auditorium and created a subject to talk about for example , mariage , love and even war . During the dubbing , Brahim Sayah was so careful to choose his cuts , silences , pitches and accents . He used to watch our lips and Indian acotors lips with great care, which were extremey hard and even for the filmmakers of today . The actors said his line and was interrupted by a black line to stop for the dramatic mood and objectives.He called rytmographic techniques
Razak : tell us please about Swissi Studio ? where is the compagny now and where are the archives ?
Habiba : ( a long silence) when we heard that Studio Swissi was closed , we were very grieved about it especially that auditorium Had played major roles to moroccan memories. We immediately thought of our beloved Brahim Sayah . He was so sad about it too.
I heard also that a Richbond compagny has bought the rights of this firm , but we wonder all about the lost of these archives and where are they now ? . It is true that in that time, Moroccan filmmakers had not too much money to buy cinematic films like Eastman and Kodak ,that is why they would erase too many Celloid films and recorded new data on them . It is sad to tell you such news but it is true .
Allal : Knowing that you had a very good voice , a soft one – un son timbré – and especially as you have told us that you wrote subjects and were spontanously performed . the same techniques of the renaissance Italians called Commedia Del’Arte ‘ would do the same thing .who were the noise men , were there any special effects in that time ?
HaBiba : to tell you the truth , there were no Bruiteur or FX as you mention it .we did all the job . We were actors and actresses who made noises with smoothful synchronizations . We were so happy about our work .You should know people like our beloved Doghmi , Abdel Razzak Hakam ,myself and others would bring personal furniture so that we showed to the world that our country was so great. We had a sense of sacrifice and national pride .
Razak : We know now that you have a sense of truth , do you know that Brahim Sayah proposed to CCM a new projet to dub stage domestic and foreign films , he recently said thtat they can’t promote doublage and take 5 % of the fund aid budget so that new Moroccan and foreign movies could be dubbed stage in Moroccan auditoriums ?
Habiba : That man is always creative and this is the nature of the artist ,.To me , Brahim Sayah is a great master either in writing ; dubbing or in creating . CCM has now constipated menatlities, and it should be open to all new comers . Nour-Eddine Sail is an Intellectual person and must have that light of intellegence to lead and welcome new thoughts.He is very respeonsible to the image of this country . what we did to this country is already engraved into Moroccan memory.We really need people like yourselves to take the lead . We are fed up of golden boys who are really superficial and hollow .
Interviewed by Alla land Razak