The Israeli film "Bab Al-Ward" ("Flower Gate), by director and filmmaker Haim Buzaglo, was shown at the 18th Agadir Film Festival on June 16. The festival had been postponed several times during the Covid pandemic. The screening of this film is the first time an Israeli film has participated in a film festival in Morocco. Israeli Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin delivered remarks at the screening in Arabic.
In his speech, Ambassador Govrin indicated that the participation of an Israeli film in the festival reflects the qualities and values of Morocco in welcoming and embracing different cultures. Israel has the second largest Moroccan community in the world, with about 800,000 people, from the first generation to the third generation today. These generations, despite the geographical distance from Morocco, succeeded in maintaining the same customs, traditions, music and spirit that bind the two countries. Ambassador Govrin pointed out that cinema embodies a set of experiences from reality and brings emotions to the viewer, beginning with a story. Haim Buzaglo’s film tells the story of the immigration of Moroccan Jews to Israel, where each emigration faces difficulties, regardless of where it arrives or migrates from.
The next day, Israeli and Moroccan participants participated in a panel on the importance of culture in foreign relations. At the end of the session, the participants answered the questions from the 200-strong audience. Both the screening of the film and the panel benefited from extensive media coverage in Arabic and French that was both respectful and moving. It is hoped that additional Israeli films will be shown at future festivals.