France, Morocco | 2023 | 32 min
Language : Arabic
Subtitles : French, English
Perched on a rickety cart lurching to the slow rhythm of a struggling mule, a man travels across an expanse of semi-desert. We are in the Errachidia Region, not far from the oasis of Fezna-Jorf. The chief of the village has assigned Moustapha the task of inspecting the ‘khettaras’: an ancient system of underground drainage tunnels that capture water from the aquifers when there has been no rain for months, whilst preventing thermal evaporation. They are essential for irrigating crops. This is the second film that Driss Aroussi has shot in this area of Morocco, from which he originates. His sharp sense of framing perfectly illustrates the Sisyphean condition of the hero, who surveys the now dry galleries, armed only with a ladder, an oil lamp and a hoe with which he scrapes, in vain, at the cracked floor in the hope of making the precious resource spring forth. And the final sequence of Borj el mechkouk, which uses refracted light to create a tragic and poetic optical illusion, gives this short film the power of a cinematographic fable, foreseeing our imminent disappearance.