Books and publications

Index / Activities / Books and publications / La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate]

La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate]

May 03, 20226:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 6:00 p.m. Free entry until the auditorium’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish and French with simultaneous translation.

Casa Árabe and the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival "Punto de Vista", in collaboration with Cineteca Madrid, present this history of cinema in Morocco from 1907 to 1986 by Ahmed Bouanani on Tuesday 3 May in Madrid.

The event will be attended by Ali Essafi, filmmaker and curator of the cycle "Who will tell the story? Beginnings of documentary film in Morocco"; Manuel Asín, artistic director of "Punto de Vista", the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival, and will be moderated by Nuria Medina, Casa Árabe's Culture Coordinator.

"The Seventh Gate. A history of cinema in Morocco from 1907 to 1986" is a fundamental work on the history of Moroccan cinema that finally saw the light of day in 2020, after 33 years as an unpublished manuscript, and whose publication in Spanish has just been made by the "Punto de Vista" Festival, in co-publication with Joaquín Gallego.  

The presentation of this important new publication marks the beginning of the film series "Who will tell the story? The beginnings of documentary film in Morocco", produced by Punto de Vista, International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra, and hosted by Cineteca Madrid and Casa Árabe in Madrid during the months of May and June.

Ahmed Bouanani (1938-2011), author of an immense and largely unpublished literary oeuvre, claimed to write only for himself and a few friends. To hear him tell it, one would say that his four books published during his lifetime were published against his will. The only work that he explicitly wished to see come to light is the one we now present. Given that the scarcity of historical archives makes research work difficult, the number of fundamental works on Moroccan cinema is minimal. This is why "The Seventh Gate" remains an essential resource, even though it was written in the 1980s. In addition to his analytical rigour and superb prose, Bouanani knew personally most of the Moroccan filmmakers with whom he worked on many of their films as editor, consultant or scriptwriter. Decades of work at the Centre Cinématographique Marocain (CCM) enabled him to familiarise himself with the archive of European productions from the colonial era.

"The Seventh Gate" narrates the transformations of cinema in Morocco and the transformations of Morocco through cinema, from 1907 to 1986. It focuses above all on the difficulties faced by filmmakers after independence in order to free the country's image from the colonial gaze. Bouanani, by virtue of his profession as a director, was deeply committed to the questions he himself raised: how to revive cultural memory after colonial subjugation had mummified it for decades; how to invent an aesthetic relevant to its time and place, an aesthetic with which Moroccans could identify? In short, how to decolonise the screen?

"The Seventh Gate is a hybrid text of prodigious breath. It is a history book that reads like an adventure novel, the throbbing novel of a birth strewn with obstacles, the unfinished birth of a national cinema. It is, in short, the narration of the enthusiastic search, bristling with pitfalls, of an art that knows how to honour the collective memory and shape the images of a shared future.

The Seventh Gate. A History of Cinema in Morocco from 1907 to 1986
By Ahmed Bouanani
Edited by Touda Bounani & Omar Berrada
Edt Joaquin gallego Editor, 2022
ISBN: 9788409381913
  • La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate]
  • La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate]
Thumbnail_7__cubierta_sombra-galeria_mini Copy_of_ahmed_bouanani__1971-galeria_mini

Related content

Who Will Tell The Story? Beginnings of Documentary Film in Morocco

Casa Árabe and Cineteca are hosting during the months of May and June in Madrid the itinerant series 'Who will tell the story? Beginnings of Documentary Cinema in Morocco'. The retrospective has been curated for its 16th edition by the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival "Punto de Vista" with Omar Berrada and Ali Essafi.
From May 6, 2022 until June 17, 2022 MADRID