“Bayt Al Hejba” by Jamila Annab is released in cinemas – Today Morocco

“Bayt Al Hejba” by Jamila Annab is released in cinemas – Today Morocco
“Bayt Al Hejba” by Jamila Annab is released in cinemas – Today Morocco

This is a documentary film on the maâlem and Tagnaouite culture

The feature-length documentary “Bayt Al Hejba” by Jamila Annab is released in cinemas from May 8. It tells the story of the relationship of the Maâlem Gnaoui with his instrument “the sentyr”.

After being screened in several national and international festivals, the feature-length documentary “Bayt Al Hejba” by Jamila Annab will be released in cinemas from May 8. Produced by Nabil Lahlou, this film addresses a very particular subject, that of the city of Essaouira and Tagnaouite culture. “I grew up in a family environment loving songs and musical groups, in a small coastal town in the south of Morocco (Safi), located not far from Essaouira which is the stronghold of Gnaoua and trance music. Close geographically, the two cities were also, to a certain extent, culturally.

As children, our joy was immeasurable when we visited Essaouira, adorning ourselves with cowrie shells and buying toys in the form of Gnaoui musical instruments,” says the director about the choice of this theme. And added: “With me, a childhood passion for the songs of musical groups grew, and it was my older brothers who instilled in me the taste for their styles and songs, in particular the committed and authentic Nass El Ghiwane group, which counted among its members the late “Abderrahmane Paco”, the Maâlem gnaoui originally from Essaouira and virtuoso of the “sentyr”.

For the director, it is impossible not to notice this extra-natural union between the “sentyr” and the Maâlem. “This instrument is considered as a being with a personality, to which is added its quality of constituting an intelligent unit, and even an extension of the body of its owner, the Maâlem. Also, store it in a clean, safe place free from malicious spirits, so that it is not desecrated by anyone.” For her, the Gnaouas also believe that “the “sentyr” acquires its sacred character only after the completion of its manufacture, its censing and its concealment from view in “Bayt Al Hejba (chamber of concealment from view)” .

The film also tells the story of the relationship of the Maâlem gnaoui Essaddiq (master musician and ceremony) with his instrument “the sentyr”, how this deep relationship was generated and developed to the point that the instrument became an extension of Essaddiq and the latter a consecrated Maâlem.
The film brings together Hanane Zohdi, Essaddiq Laarche, Zaida Gania, Azzouz Essoudani, Youssef Srarfi, and Adda Laarbi. A work to discover!

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