Amal is a short film by Moroccan director Ali Benkirane, a graduate from the Parisian film school ESRA who lives in Casablanca. Although produced in 2004, the film still bears the same urgency and importance as it did seven years ago.
Set in the Moroccan countryside, Amal tells the story of a 12 years old girl named Amal. She lives in a remote house with her mum, dad, older sister and brother. Every morning, Amal and her brother walk across the barren and stoney hills to reach the far away village school. Amal has one dream in life: to become a doctor. But one afternoon when she returns home, her mum and dad tells her that, starting tomorrow, she will not be going to school any more.
Benkirane’s film is a sincere portrayal of a problem faced by kids not only in Morocco but across the world: not being able to go to school. At the screening in October during the Arab Shorts film festival in Cairo, the director said about his film:
“This is an important issue that has to do with many things: not only religion but also, mainly, socio-economic matters. I chose to tell the story of a girl because although this is something that many children face, it mostly affects girls. But I named the girl Amal, which means ‘hope’ in Arabic. Children never lose their hope.”
“I named the girl Amal, which means ‘hope’ in Arabic. Children never lose their hope.”