Jahilya is an expression of disgust, of nausea. It’s a cry of “Enough!”. In recent years, I’ve been getting more and more fed up with my compatriots, and I’ve found myself trapped in the maelstrom of the times’ ambient mediocrity. I did what I could to fight off the heartsickness and keep my soul from rotting. I decided to make a film of it, by entwining six stories of contemporary lives, and expressing all their melancholy, poetry, and violence.
How can a man who no longer feels anything continue to exist when his soul has already putrefied? How can he survive the fading away of his own memories? How can he continue to function day-to-day when the hands of his biological clock have disappeared and the metronome is but a countdown to the end?
This film is a mourning of the feelings of people whose heart and soul are paralysed. It’s the story of people with few skills, “worthless” people with few capacities, and who are desperately trying to make something of themselves, to make a place for themselves in the world as a final attempt to survive, before abandoning hope and resigning themselves to their fate.
In a very cold clinical way, the film screams how important it is to reconnect with your emotions, to accept the mourning, the tears, the suffering that brings grace, to feel once again, to exist, love, then love oneself.
I tried to synthesize this visceral rejection, generating characters, events, and accounts that would coalesce into a film, the final work of the Trilogy of the Dog, begun with They Are the Dogs (C’est eux les chiens) in 2013 and as the second part, Starve Your Dog (Affame ton chien) in 2015. It’s about the gestures, moments, and traditions that have made their way down to us from our culture’s earliest traces. The reference to the Middle Ages is a way of invoking the past and conveying the anxiety that riddles contemporary Morocco, where we seem to be sinking into a form of barbaric savagery, blind fanaticism, and inertia that leads us inexorably into darkness. With this film, I wanted to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
Hassan Ben Badida
Moulay Hassan Alaoui
Zoubir Abou Al Fadl