Le thé ou l'électricité

Jérôme le Maire
Belgium | 2012 | 92 min
Language : Arabic
Subtitles : English, French

A remote hamlet in the High Atlas of Morocco, where conditions have changed little since the Middle Ages. Instead of the long-awaited road, the inhabitants are told that… electricity is about to be laid on. A captivating “inside” story, shot over three years, of a small community faced with the irruption of the modern commercial world, as well as an edifying philosophical fable on the notion of progress.


At Ifri, an isolated hamlet in the Moroccan High Atlas, families rear sheep and still live in medieval conditions. For years they have been waiting for the State to build them a road, an absolute priority if they are to emerge from their isolation and poverty. But one day they are told that they are being provided with… electricity.  For three years, the filmmaker followed the slow progress of the work, while observing the effects of change on the community. As well as recording these developments, the film describes the villagers with respect and a rare sense of involvement, their extreme poverty and great lucidity. The modernity imposed on them demands fresh sacrifices and unprecedented family and social pressure: “I don’t need this electricity”, says one man. “I just want bread, oil, a bit of meat, and peace. It is the children who want televisions, fridges, videos, satellite dishes…”. A valuable reminder of a world forgotten by everyone (except the laws of commerce!), and an edifying philosophical fable on the notion of progress.

Alessia Bottani.

Translation BMP Translations


International Feature Film Competition

→ Tout le programme