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Jewish Community in Morocco

Film | Accession Number: 2000.621.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2588 | Film ID: 2308

From the opening titles of the film: "This film was made on the eve of the dissolution of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Diaspora - the Jewish community of Morocco. Within a short time, ancient and established communities were rooted out: inhabitants of the mellah in the large cities, the kasbahs in the desert of the south, and the remote villages of the Atlast mountains. Via the camera we have attempted to perpetuate a way of life, the customs and mores of a splendid community seen in their Moroccan context, before the community moved on to its new-ancient homeland."

From NCJF documentation:
Convoy, parade with Moroccan monarch in a convertible, views of various cities (Rabbeh- the capital, Marakesh, Tangiers, Casablanca), shots of buildings. Various buildings, architectural details, arabesques. The city of Fez, Muslim buildings, palace. Craftsmen, metalworkers. Marketplace, entertainment. Moroccan fishing ports. Jewish cemetery. The mellah, the Jewish quarter, Jews in traditional dress, street signs (Rue de Palestine, Rue de Jerusalem), Jewish symbols carved into walls outdoors. Jewelers. Shoe cobblers, coppersmith, woodcarver, children weaving carpets on loom, man embroidering a Torah cover with gold thread. Making Tefilin (phylacteries). Man teaching children to sing "L'cha Dodi". Child learning to read, boys and girls singing. Kindergarten set up by the JDC. Shabbat: preparations for Shabbat, women baking, women lighting candles, saying blessing. Man saying Kiddush, blessing over wine, with family around table. Introduction to holidays. Street sign "Rue de la Synagogue", sign of the Synagogue, inside of synagogue, men singing and carrying two Torah, man blowing Shofar. Henna ceremony: dressing of bride, the ceremony with bride and groom. Purim celebration: children in costumes. Boys learning Megilat Esther (book of Esther). Elderly man reading Megilat Esther. Men reading Psalms with candles burning over a stone tomb engraved with Hebrew lettering. Southern Morocco, Sahara desert, desert buildings, desert agriculture, irrigation. People constructing a building. Market day, commerce, Muslim praying at a mosque, the call to prayer by the muezin. Man playing a single string instrument. Jewish artisans in the marketplace. The mellah (Jewish quarter), silversmith working, women baking bread, men eating a meal. Tisha B'av. Men praying seated on the floor. Tombstones engraved in Hebrew. (In 1956, Morocco became an independent state and Jews were forbidden to leave). People walking at night, getting into boats to leave Morocco. Atlas mountains, Berber tribes. Men drinking tea, men praying. JDC people talking to indigenous inhabitants about immigrating to Israel. Taking Mezuzah out of doorpost. People leaving village with JDC people carrying Torah.

Film Title
Edge of the West
Production:  1961
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University
Record last modified: 2020-02-04 10:39:39
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