DON’T LET THE SUN GO UP ON ME
Seventy-three-year-old Habib is a father with a passion for photography. In 1991, when his third daughter Fatima Zahra was born, he bought his first camcorder and began filming the daily life of his family. The footage he shot with his Hitachi camera over a period of twenty years forms a pre-written history of this family—but especially of Fatima Zahra. When Habib discovered the content of his tapes, he realised he had diagnosed his daughter’s illness twenty-eight years ago. He had to give up his career and his dream home in the sunny countryside to go to the city and live with his daughter’s illness at night. This film is a true love story between a father and his daughter; an artistic reflection that plunges us into the world of Fatima Zahra and her father.
Insight Films (Morocco)
Asmae El Moudir
One day in the summer of 2017, I went to a photo lab to renew my national identity card, which I had misplaced. In the photographer’s studio, I met a gentleman of about seventy-three years of age. He had come to digitise some thirty old VHS tapes. I witnessed his negotiation with the photographer; the gentleman explained that he needed to save these images to a USB stick as he wanted to give them as a birthday present to his daughter, who was in hospital. This negotiation was unsuccessful. As I left, I offered to help him. He proudly showed me all the tapes he had made over twenty years. I suggested a solution for transferring the tapes to a digital medium; he accepted and thanked me. I left him my business card and waved goodbye; he whispered, shyly: “My name is Habib.” This is how a bond of friendship developed between Father El Habib, his daughter Fatima Zahra and their little family, and me. Chance led me to this story. I decided to go and meet this father and his daughter—a “child of the moon,” as society calls her. Later, I made connections with other moon children across Morocco. Their world is unique, their memories telescoped. The conceit of this project is one of making images appear and disappear, of making them exist or not, of directing the gaze as I, the author, wish, while revealing the device that allows a dialogue between the images filmed by his father twenty years ago and those filmed today. Ultimately, this a film about the power of the imagination and about those who dream. The film draws its poetry and melancholy from there.
Asmae El Moudir is a Moroccan ﬁlm director, screenwriter and producer. She graduated in 2010 from the Moroccan Film Academy in Film Directing / Fiction. She studied at La Fémis (French film school) in Paris/ Documentary. Already during her studies, El Moudir gained international attention with her ﬁlms Thank god it's Friday ( winner of Fameck Award, nominated for AMMA Awards in African competition) and Colors of silence (winner of Malmo Film Festival-Prize for best short fiction film).
In 2020, Asmae directed her most awarded first feature film, The Postcard, selected at the IDFA First Apparence competition, Marrakech International Film Festival (Panorama), Durban International Film Festival, Visions du Réel, winner of the Mediterranean Film Festival of Tetouan, winner of the FIDADOC Festival of Agadir, winner of the IS REEL Film Festival in Italy, Jury Prize at the Lessinia Film Festival, and many others.
In 2014, Asmae co-founded the ﬁlm production company INSIGHTFILMS where she successfully writes, directs and produces narrative and documentary features. The company shares a passion for telling human and intimate stories that raise awareness about diversity, social justice, migration and femininity. In 2022 El Moudir was a Netflix Equity Fund winner with her project The mother of all lies.
Since 2007, she has worked regularly with television channels such as Aljazeera documentary, SNRT, BBC, Alaracby TV and has been supported by the Moroccan Film Center. With her ﬁlms, she has won important national and international awards which have been screened in (A)-Festivals worldwide and presented on co-production markets (Venice Film Festival, Marché de film cannes, Atlas Workshops, IDFA academy, IDFA summer school, IDFA project space, Hot doc's Lab, Medimed Barcelona, Red Sea Souk, Doha lab producers, Pitching du Réel, JCC habaka etc).
Her current project, The Mother of All Lies, is a new step in his career and has received the most prestigious funds through: AFAC, IDFA Bertha Fund, Hot Docs Blue ICe Docs Fund, Doha Film Institute, Atlas Workshops, IMS, CNC, Aljazeera co-production, Netflix equity fund, and LA Scam.
March 2023 – March 2024, Mohammadia, Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakech (Morocco)
Financial support, writing residencies, consultations, co-producers, broadcasters, distributors