This is a little gem I’ve found on the Frontline Club website: Casablanca Calling, a documentary about women leading a quiet revolution in Morocco. I love this story because it shows strong women taking control and making changes in their own terms. They are neither following Western dreams nor accepting their country's repressive views of Islam. It reminds me of the Queen Mothers of Ghana, who are reinventing their traditional roles to improve the lives of girls and women in their communities. I am going to Ghana in June with filmmaker Dominique Chadwick to report on that story.
Casablanca Calling, by documentary filmmaker Rosa Rogers and triple BAFTA winning producer Hilary Durman takes us into the heart of this quiet social revolution in Morocco through the lives of the women at its forefront. It is the story of a society in transition and a mission to educate a nation.
In a country where 60% of women have never been to school, a new generation of women have started working as official Muslim leaders or Morchidat. The Morchidat, the world’s first female Muslim leaders, are setting out to change their country: empowering women through the teachings of Islam and challenging the attitudes which breed extremism.
They work in some of the poorest communities in Morocco to separate the true teachings of Islam from some of the prejudices emanating from a largely conservative culture. They work to support education for girls and campaign against early marriages. And they encourage young people to build a more progressive Morocco, as opposed to pursuing the agenda that many young people in the country do, which is aspiring to a life in the West.
Through personal stories, family dramas and everyday lives, Casablanca Calling gives a unique perspective on women’s lives in contemporary Morocco. It tells the story of committed people, social change and a sacred mission.
The film will be presented at theFrontline Club on Friday 30 January 2015 at 7:00 PM. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Rosa Rogers and producer Hilary Durman.