Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2012
In this historically and anthropologically oriented article, we situate the recent wave of Jewish-themed Moroccan films within the context of the liberalizing transformations and associated nationalist narratives promoted by the current Moroccan regime. Reflecting Mohammed VI's commitment to widening the space of civil society, the task of enacting these transformations and producing these narratives devolves increasingly to nonstate agents in the public sphere. Previously monopolized and managed more comprehensively by the state, the “Jewish Question”—that is, contestations over representations of Jews as authentic members of the Moroccan body politic—is now taken up in a range of public media less subject to direct government control. We demonstrate that the role of cinema in this process reflects the shifting relationship between state and civil society in the late postcolonial period. More specifically, we argue that the production, circulation, and reception of Jewish-themed films is diagnostic of the state's ability to open new spaces of public representation and debate that foster precisely those images of the state and nation promoted by the current regime in regional and global contexts.
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44 Kosansky, All Dear unto God.
45 Edwards, Marock in Morocco.
46 Many Moroccan films have used the theme of emigration and displacement. See, for example, Soleil du printemps (Morocco, 1969) and Lalla Chafia (Morocco, 1982).
48 Bensimon, Agnès, Hassan II et les Juifs: Histoire d'une émigration secrète (Paris: Seuil, 1991)Google Scholar. Hatimi, “al-Jamaʿat al-Yahudiyya al-Maghribiyya wa-l-Khiyar al-Sa'b.”
49 Laskier, Israel and the Maghreb.
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52 For more discussion on the sinking of the Pisces and the international pressure to grant Moroccan Jews permission to emigrate, see Agnès Bensimon, Hassan II et les Juifs; and Laskier, Michael, “Israeli–Moroccan Relations and the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1977–2002,” Israel Affairs 10 (2004): 41–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
53 See Carter, What Moroccan Cinema? The pertinent legislation can be found in Bulletin Officiel 1633, 78; Bulletin Officiel 3387, 28 September 1977.
54 On the history of the CCM, see Carter, What Moroccan Cinema?; Jaidi, Le Cinéma au Maroc, 26–31; and Dwyer, Beyond Casablanca.
55 Al-Massae, 24 December 2009.
56 Carter, What Moroccan Cinema?
57 Smith and Loudiy, Testing the Red Lines.
58 Al-Massae, 24 December 2009.
59 Attajdid, 15 May 2006.