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Al-Halqa, In the Storyteller´s Circle
Year:  2010
Running Time:  90 minutes
Country:  Morocco/Germany
Language:  German & Arabic with English Subtitles
Genre:  Documentary
Venue:  Playhouse Theater
Cast:  Abderahim El Maqori, Zoheir El Maqori, Mohammed Hassan El Joundi
Showtime:   Sunday, April 10, 2011 @ 01:30 PM
Director:  Thomas Ladenburger

Description:
  On Djemaa el Fna Square in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, Abderahim El Maqori tells stories that he has been collecting in his mind and heart since he was a child.

Now that he is growing older, he is teaching his son Zoheir the tricks of a dying trade. In the Halqa, the storyteller's circle, the boy practices his skills and his father provides blunt criticism.

Once Zoheir, who got his name from a story that Abderahim told the day he was born, is ready for it, he and his father travel to Fez, the intellectual capital of Morocco, for the ultimate test on the large city square.

The camera follows the pair on their journey, which is interspersed with stories about ghosts, kings, shoemakers and animals, and we get to see the special bond between father and son, who certainly do not agree with one another all the time.

Zoheir has to find his own style for a new generation of listeners, who do not only want to hear about days long past, but also get information about things like AIDS. For the rest, the Halaiqi are not alone in wanting to keep the folk traditions intact.

Zoheir's favorite actor Mohamed Hassan El Joundi explains why he records stories of bygone eras in his studio: stories nurture people and teach them to have ambitions and dreams.


***
US Premiere



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