Special Envoy to Khouribga – Last Saturday the 19th edition of the Khouribga African Film Festival opened in the presence of the president of the jury, the philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin, of the FCAK President Noureddine Sail, and several representatives of the 7th art from several countries, as well as authorities of the town of Khouribga. A special tribute was paid to Tahar Cheriaa, father of Pan Africanism film and founder of Carthage Film Festival, the first film festival in Africa and the Arab world.
Without folklore, without drums nor fanfare. Just some speakers and a cinema-based outreach programme. This is the new configuration that organisers wanted to give the 19th Festival of African Cinema of Khouribga (FCAK), an edition placed under the sign of the film lover. The event, which also paid homage to the founder of the Carthage Film Festival, especially allowed to see or see again the documentary film “Tahar Cheriaa à l’ombre du Baobab” by Mohamed Challouf. According to Edgar Morin, “It is a work that gives as a model two great pioneers of African cinema: Tahar Cheriaa and Ousmane Sembène.” He indicated that “in this documentary we see the difficulties of this yet so creative cinema”, before noting that African cinema unfortunately does not assert in theaters, given the obstacles he encounters. “In France, there was a difficult penetration by the Asian cinema but African cinema has not penetrated, although at the Cannes Film Festival, there were two Africans in the jury and despite the fact that there are very many spectators, as much in north Africa as in sub-Saharan Africa,” explained the sociologist, who notes that there is a “cultural resistance” which is manifested by organising festivals like that of Khouribga.
“Of course, we can integrate aspects from the west, modernity, but we must save the greatest value of these cultures, not only its originality, its poetry, its music, but also its solidarity, its interpersonal skills, which are so strong in Africa. Contrary to what a French president said, Africa has a very rich history. Were we humans trained in the African forest? Humanity formed itself in the heart of Africa,” Edgar Morin proclaimed from the top of the forum. The nonagenarian still very young in spirit, added: “We owe a lot to Africa and above all we must save its life and culture.” He believes that “Africa must defend itself, but also the friends of Africa must defend it. And cinema is a defence because it is a means of knowledge. ”
Urging the African man to “resistance”, the jury president of the 19th edition of FCAK says that cinema is a major means of defence values. “The aesthetic emotion that the finest films give also gives the knowledge of the humanity of these countries that are so far away and we do not have the opportunity to know,” he analyses.
The unity of the human race
Edgar Morin, in his speech applauded by the public, called for “unity of the human race.” He explained: “I love to see foreign films, because it is a way to dive into our societies to feel what is happening in the world”, emphasising that the cinema is one of the essential elements to discover the world and understand society. “What is happening today with the destruction of the biosphere whose diversity is degraded, it is what also happens in the human level. This diversity is nothing without human unity, ” said the French philosopher and sociologist, who in the past has “developed its first humanist notions” through mostly Soviet and German films, such as Le chemin de la vie, Les Marins de Kronstadt, La Tragédie de la mine, L’Atlantide.