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  • International Journal of Middle East Studies, Volume 44, Issue 3
  • August 2012, pp. 421-442

THE “JEWISH QUESTION” IN POSTCOLONIAL MOROCCAN CINEMA

Abstract
Abstract

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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Corresponding author
Oren Kosansky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Ore.; e-mail: kosansky@lclark.edu.
Aomar Boum is an Assistant Professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.; e-mail: bouma@email.arizona.edu
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daniel Schroeter and Joseph Chetrit , “Emancipation and Its Discontents: Jews and the Formative Period of Colonial Rule in Morocco,” Jewish Social Studies 13 (2006): 170206

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Aomar Boum , “The Plastic Eye: The Politics of Jewish Representation in Moroccan Museums,” Ethnos 75 (2010): 4977

Brian Edwards , “Marock in Morocco: Reading Moroccan Films in the Age of Circulation,” Journal of North African Studies 12 (2007): 287307

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Mohamed Errihani , “Language Attitudes and Language Use in Morocco: Effects of Attitudes on ‘Berber’ Language Policy,” Journal of North African Studies 13 (2008): 411–28

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Paul Silverstein , “Masquerade Politics: Race, Islam, and the Scale of Amazigh Activism in Southeastern Morocco,” Nations and Nationalism 17 (2011): 6584

Aomar Boum , “Saharan Jewry: History, Memory and Imagined Community,” Journal of North African Studies 16 (2011): 338

Robert Assaraf , Mohammed V et les juifs du Maroc à l'époque de Vichy (Paris: Plon, 1997)

Aomar Boum , “From ‘Little Jerusalems’ to the Promised Land: Zionism, Moroccan Nationalism and Rural Jewish Emigration,” Journal of North African Studies 15 (2010): 5169

Oren Kosansky , “Tourism, Charity, and Profit: The Movement of Money in Moroccan Jewish Pilgrimage,” Cultural Anthropology 17 (2002): 359400

Michael Laskier , “Israeli–Moroccan Relations and the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1977–2002,” Israel Affairs 10 (2004): 4173

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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