Bridging Time, Distance and Mistrust, With Music
A documentary just lately broadcast on Moroccan state tv, “In Your Eyes, I See My Nation,” which has been proven at festivals in Marrakesh and elsewhere, follows Ms. Elkayam and Mr. Cohen, her husband, on a visit to Morocco, together with visits to their grandparents’ hometowns. It exhibits Moroccans embracing her, clutching her hand, even telling her that they keep in mind the names of her grandparents.
Being an Arabic-speaking Jew, in each Israel and Morocco, means dwelling with a posh, generally conflicting set of expectations, mentioned Aomar Boum, an anthropologist on the College of California Los Angeles, who focuses on Jewish-Muslim relations. Within the movie, it’s clear that Ms. Elkayam is “carrying a heavy weight,” he mentioned. “It’s solely the music that connects the dots.”
The movie, which is scheduled to be proven subsequent month on the Miami Jewish Movie Pageant, exhibits her and Mr. Cohen performing live shows for largely Muslim audiences, and it ends with him spending days in his household’s former village, the place he clothes in conventional Moroccan garments and nation boys welcome him like a brother.
Kamal Hachkar, the movie’s Moroccan director, mentioned, “What touched me essentially the most about Neta is that I rapidly understood that she sang to restore the injuries of exile.” The documentary, he added, “is a method of defying the fatality of the massive historical past which separated our dad and mom and grandparents and that our era can recreate hyperlinks by way of music, which is an actual widespread territory and melting pot for Jews and Muslims.”
The political context is inescapable.
“Singing in Arabic is a political assertion,” Ms. Elkayam mentioned. “We need to be a part of this space, we need to use the language to attach with our neighbors. It isn’t solely to recollect the previous.”
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