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“From the Ashes of Oblivion”

November 20, 20177:00 p.m. Documentary duration: 58 minutes.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Documentary duration: 58 minutes. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
Original language version with subtitles in Spanish.

Casa Árabe and Asociación Los 50 are presenting this documentary, which delves into the life of Moroccan soccer player Larbi Ben Barek. After the film is shown, there will be a colloquium about this renowned sports figure.

To be highlighted at the colloquium is the role which Larbi Ben Barek played in the successes of the Atlético de Madrid team and the modernization of Spanish soccer. Participating in the colloquium are Abdelhadi Razko, the director of the documentary; Tarik Bennuna, the Vice-President of the Ben Barek soccer club in Tetouan, Morocco, and Los 50 members Ildefonso Martínez Ladrón de Guevara and Juan Antonio Martín, “Petón.”

The documentary “De las cenizas del olvido” (“From the Ashes of Oblivion”) was produced by the Moroccan television station Arryadia and directed by journalists Abdelhadi Razko and Ahmed Madfaii. The film was recorded in the cities of Marseille, Toulouse, Ajaccio, Paris, Madrid and Tunis, with testimonials by former soccer players Michel Hidalgo, Just Fontaine, Raymond Kopa and Jaco Zafrani, and journalists including Pierre-Marie Descamps, Alain Pécheral and Gilles Castagno. Ben Barek’s time on the red and white team is remembered by Ildefonso Martínez Ladrón de Guevara, Bernardo Salazar, Miguel Ángel Barroso and Juan Antonio Martín, “Petón.”

Larbi Ben Barek
Ben Barek was born in 1914 in the region of Tissint, Morocco. After spending some time in Marrakesh, where his father passed away when Larbi was just eight years old, his family moved to the “Al Sufi” neighborhood in Casablanca. When his mother and brother noticed he had no interest in studying, they tried to get him to learn a trade, but all Ben Barek seemed to care about was playing soccer. He would always walk from downtown to his house with a soccer ball, often put together using tattered old clothes, kicking it with his bare feet.

He began to play soccer on the “Al Watan” team when he was 18 years old, facing off with teams from other neighborhoods in Rabat, Fez and Salé. This allowed him to become better known and join the ranks of “El Ideal” the following year, where he remained for two seasons. The next three, Ben Barek played on the First Division with the USM (Union Sportive Marocaine), until in 1938 he moved to Europe to join the ranks of the Olympique de Marseille. With the outbreak of World War II, Ben Barek returned to Morocco, where he went back to playing with the USM until he was able to go back to France in 1945. He was signed up by the Stade Français, where he stayed for three seasons.

Ben Barek’s excellent performance at the Metropolitano during a friendly match in which the Atlético de Madrid faced off with the Stade Français led Madrid’s red and white team to hire him. He reached the Atlético de Madrid when he was 34 years old and remained with it for six seasons, in which he won two consecutive League Championships and the Eva Duarte Cup.

Larbi Ben Barek died in 1992 at the age of 78. His remains lie in the Cemetery of Martyrs in Casablanca.

About Los 50

The Red and White Asociación Los 50 is made up of 50 Atlético de Madrid fans, and its members include well-known personages from the worlds of literature, communication, journalism and film. The association’s goal is to preserve and increase awareness about the historical and cultural heritage of the Atlético de Madrid soccer club and its fandom, staking a claim on the Atlético’s true history while recovering from oblivion many of the legends which made it so great.

Los 50 also cooperate on holding activities of a cultural, humanitarian and charitable nature separate from the sport but somehow related with the Atlético de Madrid and its greatest asset: the Atlético de Madrid fans.
“From the Ashes of Oblivion”