Morocco: «Zanka Contact» by Ismaël El Iraki banned because of a song about the Sahara


Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

The feature film «Zanka contact» by Ismaël El Iraki, released on December 1, 2021 in national cinemas, is the subject of series of sanctions taken by the Moroccan Film Centre (CCM).

As a part of its communicative approach and interaction with the national electronic press, which evoked the use of music that does not correspond to the constants of the Moroccan nation, in a film that received public support in 2017 : the CJC initially insisted on “providing the following data, released on the evening of October 19 (journalistic resource).

The public body, explained that the film production company received financial support of 4.2 million dirhams, as well as a licence for filming during the period from 10 June to 21 July 2019, “in accordance with the procedures in force”.

A title by Mariem Hassan

According to the CCM, the film production support commission did inspect the film strip in question on December 18, 2020. It decided unanimously to accept its content.

“The scenario presented by the company before the commission, either before the production or to obtain the fourth tranche of the requested financial support, does not include any reference to the use of Mariem Hassan’s song,” a singer who called herself “saharawi”, died in 2015 in the Tindouf camps.

The CCM stated, that the tape presented contained only a statement that the song “Sidi Raddad” by Fadoul would be used. A title «which does not involve any insult to the principles of the Moroccan nation», stresses the centre.

The holding suspended

It was therefore «decided to re-examine the tape of the specific film» since according to the CCM, the film «includes a betrayal in the text, the dialogue and the sound» which had been presented to it initially.

on its release, the CCM also announced the “suspension of the commercial and cultural licence for the film in question”, as well as the “commercial and cultural dissemination of work at the national and international level”.

A warning was also sent to the production company “to change the copy of the film within 48 hours to match the original script”.

The professional card of director “Ismaël El Iraki” has also been suspended, says the CCM, while reserving «the right to institute legal proceedings against the producer and the director».

According to the CCM, the film has so far been screened in 16 national cinemas in six cities. It was watched by 8,000 spectators and revenues amounted to 350,000 dirhams during the period between April 8, 2021 and August 9, 2022.

Nour el houda bouzammour

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