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Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1754-9221
  • E-ISSN: 1754-923X


The pioneering women making documentaries in the Maghreb – Selma Baccar, Assia Djebar, and Izza Génini – started their careers in the 1970s and 1980s. Their formative years as artists were rooted in an era in which global social movements took to the streets. Two vital manifestoes on film in the Third World and in the Arab world appeared in this context at the end of the 1960s. It is in this light that the early documentaries by Selma Baccar, Assia Djebar and Izza Génini are contextualized. Younger documentarists from the Maghreb have reacted against certain tendencies in their predecessors’ films, or have precisely taken on their politically engaged aesthetic directions. This article looks in detail at the developments of documentary making in the Maghreb since the 1970s, dispelling the myth that there is no freedom of speech or that there are no women making politically activist documentaries in this region


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