Crossing The Seventh Gate

  • En quête de la Septième porte (Obour Al bab assabea)
Genre : Biography
Type : Documentary
Original title : Obour Al bab assabea | Al Bab Al Salea | عبور الباب السابع
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2017
Format : Feature
Running time : 80 (in minutes)

"La Septième Porte" (The Seventh Door) is the title of a 300-page film historical work dedicated to Moroccan cinema between 1907 and 1986. It was written by Ahmed Bouanani (1938-2011) by hand over many years, but was never published. Neither his contribution to film history nor the five films (four of them shorts) he made between 1966 and 1980, which also pursue the politics of memory, could count on support in postcolonial Morocco. Ali Essafi's portrait film equally takes a stand against the state-driven policy of forgetting. He visited Bouanani three years before the latter's death. The filmmaker, poet and novelist who also made drawings was leading a reclusive life in a remote village with his wife Naïma and many cats, living in the midst of huge piles of books and manuscripts, those that had been spared from a devastating fire. He was physically frail but unbroken in spirit. The discussions about how he saw his position, censorship, the filmmaking ban he received and his work as a film editor are combined with film excerpts, photos, a TV interview and other documents to map out the contours of an independent artist and his oeuvre that are both full of integrity.

a film by Ali ESSAFI

Morocco, 2017 documentary, 1h20', portrait, in Arabic & French with English subtitles

Original Title (Arabic) : Obour Al Bab Al Salea - عبور الباب السابع
English Title: Crossing The Seventh Gate
Country: Morocco
Year: 2017
Languages: French, Arabic
Subtitles: English, French
Type: Documentary form
Duration: 80'
Colour: Black/White & Colour

Ali Essafi (Cinemaat Prod)
Rasha Salti

Written and Directed by
Ali Essafi

Hakim Belabbes, Hassan Ouazzani, Ali Essafi

Chaghig Arzoumanian

Touda Bouanani, Ali Essafi

Sound Design
Rana Eid

Cinemaat Prod (Casablanca, Morocco)

2017 | Les Rencontres internationales des cinémas arabes - Aflam 2017 | 21 to 26 November 2017 | Marseille, France
* Rencontres avec En Quête de la septième porte عبور الباب السابع :
on 23 NOV, 18h00, at MuCEM (musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée), 7 Promenade Robert Laffont 13002 Marseille

2017 | 67th Berlinale, Germany
* Selection : Forum
* World Premiere


1 files


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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