GUEST: SIMONE BITTON
Simone Bitton, F/MAR 2020, 99 min, OmeU
‘Ziyara’ is a pilgrimage that comes across as a road movie. Filmmaker Simone Bitton seeks out Morocco’s sacred Jewish sites, tracing her own family backstory and the experiences of her generation, which left the country at the latest after the Six-Day War in 1967 – and yet remained. She immerses herself in a heritage that has survived the centuries, not least through the commitment of the people who continue to live there, with whom Bitton repeatedly enters into conversation during her journey. The dust of time weighs on the places and sites, much of it has fallen into disuse, but they live on in obscurity. Thus, Bitton’s conversations with the people there always revolve around issues surrounding these places and their present-day significance, alternating in the film with Morocco’s impressive landscape.