Into Darkness wins the Public Award in Los Angeles!
On Wednesday 8 June, Flemish director Rachida El Garani won the Public Award for the best short film at the Los Angeles Film Festival for her documentary Into Darkness. The film was chosen among a selection of 50 films.
This documentary tells us the story of Mohamed, an 11 years old Moroccan boy who lives in the city of Taroudant. His eyesight is very poor due to an hereditary disorder and eventually he will turn blind. He and his family are living in poverty and their future is bleak, especially since 11 members of the family are affected by the same disorder.
Mohamed’s father is forced to beg in order to make his family survive and his aunt, Naïma, pursues higher education in Marrakesh and dreams of a better life for her relatives. Despite their problems, Mohamed and his family keep their hopes for a better future and their dreams alive. Mohamed’s dream is not to turn blind.
Into Darkness tells us the story of this courageous family as seen through the eyes of Mohamed. His world is represented as he perceives it. Hence, when the images turn blurred, director Rachina El Garani wants to show us how Mohamed sees them, how he perceives the world around him.
Rachina El Garani gives us insight into a deeply religious family where faith strengthens the individuals and reinforces family ties. She wanted to go beyond the border between nationality and religion, as the viewer forgets Mohamed is a young Muslim Moroccan boy. Touched by the negative image of the Muslim community based on its ethnic origins, she wants to show that this community is not basically different from the others. Thus, she strives to bear witness to this positive diversity that unites people. That’s what matters most to her.