sat 20/07/2024

Morocco

The Master Musicians of Joujouka, Morocco review - a healing encounter

A small mountain village, tucked away in the foothills of the Rif Mountains, south-east of Tangier. The “smallest music festival in the world”, so it says in the Guinness Book of Records. But this remarkable musical event – more of an encounter than...

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The Damned Don't Cry review - a Moroccan mother and son on the margins

British-Moroccan director Fyzal Boulifa’s second feature is a departure from his first, the brilliant and disturbing Lynn + Lucy of 2020. That was set on an Essex housing estate; this one takes place in Morocco.Like Lynn + Lucy, it’s beautifully...

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The Blue Caftan review - unstitching repression in Morocco

The eponymous garment in The Blue Caftan is a thing of beauty meticulously stitched and embroidered by Halim (Saleh Bakri), a maalem or master tailor, in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. His craftmanship, with its focus on intricate...

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Justin Adams & Mohamed Errebbaa, The Jam Jar, Bristol review - the African roots of rock'n'roll

Justin Adams has been exploring music that produces trance or near-trance states for a number of years. Along with being Robert Plant’s lead guitarist for a long while, he has followed his own path, seeking out what he had dubbed the secret heart of...

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The Forgiven review - the shelterless sky

John Michael McDonagh’s acerbic tragedy of manners and morals sees West meets East, in a literal car crash of sloppy behaviour and messy intentions.Alcoholic doctor David and blocked children’s author Jo (Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain) are...

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The Master Musicians of Joujouka review - a 4000 year-old rock'n'roll band

The Master Musicians of Joujouka, described by William Burroughs as a “4000 year-old rock’n’roll band”, and recorded by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones in the late 1960s, have always been something of a cult – even in their own land. Based in the...

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Little Birds, Sky Atlantic review - decadence and intrigue in 1950s Morocco

Diarist, novelist and writer of erotica Anaïs Nin lived a brilliantly-coloured life littered with affairs with literary A-listers (Henry Miller, John Steinbeck, Lawrence Durrell et al). She might have been delighted by this playfully-written and...

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Tahar Ben Jelloun: The Punishment review - triumph over torture

In July 1966, Tahar Ben Jelloun’s life changed. As punishment for participating in a peaceful student demonstration against the authoritarian King Hassan II of Morocco, he was detained and sent to a military encampment at El Hajeb, “a village where...

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Album: Bab L'Bluz - Nayda

Bab L’Bluz are a Franco-Moroccan band, They’re the latest in a succession of musicians - going back to the pioneers Nass El Ghiwane, and the recently departed Rachid Taha - to have created a vibrant fusion of traditional sounds from the Maghreb with...

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John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum review - mayhem in Manhattan

Keanu Reeves’s hitman franchise is blossoming into a delirious little earner. This third instalment reunites the star with director Chad Stahelski – who used to be Keanu’s stunt double in the Matrix films – and screenwriter Derek Kolstad, and keeps...

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CD: Abdesselam Damoussi and Nour Eddine - Jedba

It’s not often that music of this kind gets a release outside of Morocco, and Arc Music and the producer/musicians must be applauded for curating such an intense, inside view on the ecstatic release of Sufi music across the kingdom, often drawn from...

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theartsdesk in Essaouira: Festival of Gnawa - 21st-century trance masters

Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, is the place of winds. Day or night, hot or cold, year in, year out, the “Alizee” blows, and it blows. In the local folklore it is not from the ocean but a grumbling resident of the medina – perhaps protesting...

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