Monday, January 13, 2014

Hamid Bennani honors Moroccan cinema

That was somewhere in Mekness where i happened to meet for the second time Hamid Bennani, a decent man whose quite and yet beautiful soul lurks among Meknassy streets.Hamid is a Moroccan filmmaker who has been influenced by spanish surrealist film director Louis Bunuel .Thanks to Hamid , Moroccan  cinema knew its first path to professionnalism by realizing his remarquable long featured movie called - Wechma - along with Ahmed Bouanani , Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi and Mohamed Sekkat.

In 1958,Hamid Bennani enjoys training in drama and creative workshop and writing organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Morocco. He made his high school to colleges and Poeymirau Moulay Ismail , before joining the Faculty of Letters of Rabat where he obtained a degree in philosophy in 1964.

In 1965, he studied film at the Institute of Film Studies ( IDHEC ) currently Femis , which he won in 1967, " Production and Economy, Production " section. He was part of another promotion  of Moroccan filmmakers  Moumen Smihi . While studying in Rabat and Paris , he attended seminars by philosophers Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Paul Ricoeur .

In 1968 , he joined the Moroccan Radio and Television RTM where he held the position of head of department of external relations. He resigned from RTM in 1970 and founded the production company " Sigma 3 " in collaboration with Bouanani Ahmed Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi and Mohamed Sekkat. This is the company that produced the same year his first feature film " Wechma " (Traces ) .

This is the film that , upon completion , enjoyed a reputation worldwild  , thanks to mini circuits film clubs under the auspices of the Moroccan Federation of Film Societies (HSFC ) who participated to Besides the financing of the film, as well as abroad where he won numerous awards in film festivals. Criticism welcomes with enthusiasm and it recognizes a hitherto unsurpassed quality . It is widely considered the founder of the Moroccan cinema film. Films previously made ​​by Moroccan filmmakers , including "Beating to live," "When mature dates " and " Spring Sun " in comparison with " Wechma " are reproductions , sometimes lazy , stereotypes known to all .

" Wechma " is a film in the heavy atmosphere that is more interested in the internal struggles of the characters and their actions. This was an important step in the evolution of Moroccan cinema since paved the way for new storytelling techniques explored by Moumen Smihi , and Mustapha Ahmed Bouanani and Derkaoui . Despite its critical success, the film enjoyed only a short commercial release in Casablanca ( Morocco ) and it was not until 1980 that must be projected into  the " 7th Art " in Rabat. However, he was presented several times in the circuits of film clubs across the cities of Morocco.

He had to wait almost twenty years before turning his second feature film , "The prayer of the absent ", the original title was " The Secrets of the Milky Way ." The film is adapted from the very famous novel writer Tahar Ben Jelloun "The prayer of the absent ." Unfortunately, this last film did not benefit from the same esteem reserved for the previous film. Both factors explain this critical public and semi-failure .

He wanted to instill in his film an international dimension to the way of Luis Buñuel, he is his follower , hence the original title of the film. Because it remains true Moroccan specialist Buñuel which he devoted many studies published by the short-lived magazine " Cinema 3 ".
However Hamid Benani claims over Sartrean influence.