Hanna Azoulay Hasfari
Berbers
Watch Trailer

Feature film

Drama

Arabic, French

Filming Location: Morocco

The year is 1955 in French ruled Morocco. A small Jewish community has been living for a few hundred years in the village Ayat Bugmage on the Atlas Mountains, conducting harmonious life with their Berber neighbors.

But in recent years the depletion of means of livelihood has caused many of the village people to leave to Marrakesh to work at the French Factories. The reduction of the Jewish population made Rabbi Elkayam – the community's blind leader worried: he finds it very difficult to maintain Jewish life, have kosher food and find adequate matches for the daughters.

Then, as they celebrate at the synagogue one of the Jewish holidays, a couple of donkey-ridden men show up. The two tell the bewildered Rabbi Elkayam that, although looking so different, they are Jews too, that the Jewish state was established and both were assigned to bring the community back to Zion. Rabbi Elkayam is thrilled and eager to leave everything behind, unaware of the bitter disagreement between the 2 emissaries. One of them falls in love with the community and wants to bring them all to Israel, while the other one insists on implementing the selection rules Israel's government has set for the North African Jewry – old, disabled, mentally ill,  and chronic disease carriers won't be allowed to immigrate. The young state, it appeared, was interested only in the young and able who could contribute to the Zionist effort.

This conflict is at the heart of this moving, colorful and exiting drama, telling the true story behind the immigration of about 30,000 of the Atlas Mountains Jews, who lives among the Berbers since the seventh century.

Crew

Writer and director: Hanna Azoulay Hasfari (“Orange People”)

Producers: Haim Mecklberg, Estee Yacov-Mecklberg

Trailer