PODCAST | Matt Micucci interviews Mohamed El Aboudi, director of the film School of Hope.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
A conversation with Mohamed El Aboudi, director of a new documentary called School of Hope. The film premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto and is part of this year’s program of this year’s Munich DOK.fest, where it received the SOS Children’s Village Award ahead of the festival. The film documents a fading nomadic tribe in the Moroccan desert and the challenge of literacy and education in such an unforgiving landscape. In this film, El Aboudi talks about connecting with the environment and how in School of Hope, the theme of education is inseparable from the climate change situation. He also talks about finding poetry in the Moroccan desert, connecting with the Oulad Boukais tribe and more.
School of Hope: In the expansive desert east of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, where seasonal rain and snow once supported livestock and nomadic traditions, an extended drought caused by the climate crisis never seems to end. Despite generating a tiny carbon footprint, the Oulad Boukais tribe deal with the threat of environmental collapse every day. So, to ensure their children’s future, they establish a school. Shot over three years, this optimistic story emphasizes potential, opportunity and improvement over the harsh realities of unemployment, illiteracy, loss of tradition and desertification and accentuates the positives—the children’s excitement to learn, an altruistic teacher’s exuberance to teach and a community’s adaptation to change. Along with students Mohamed, Miloud and Fatima, the desert itself is a character, communicating its vastness, endurance and power, with powerful cinematic pacing and style, as both a lesson and motivation for both the tribe and the film’s audience.