Session 7. The Seventh Gate

Crossing the Seventh Gate
Ali Essafi
Morocco, 2017, 80 min, DCP, colour, Arab-French


Completed in 1987, Ahmed Bouanani’s La Septième Porte [The Seventh Gate], like most of his manuscripts, remained unpublished for over three decades before it started its existence as a book at the end of 2020. Today we celebrate its Spanish translation, published on the occasion of this retrospective, by screening Ali Essafi’ film, Crossing the Seventh Gate. It is a feature-length portrait of Ahmed Bouanani, whom Essafi visited and filmed from 2007 until his death in 2011. By then, Bouanani was leading a reclusive life in a remote village with his wife Naïma and many cats, amid huge piles of books and manuscripts. He was physically frail but unbroken in spirit. Combined with photographs, documents, film excerpts, and an old TV interview, Bouanani’s comments about his place within Moroccan cinema, the censorship he was subjected to, and his work as a film editor give a poignant sense of his lasting relevance and unshakable integrity.

Session 7. The Seventh Gate
Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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