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documentary film

El wahsh fadh alia | Work in process

Longing Rises Within Me  

A Journey in the Footsteps of Judeo-Moroccan Music

By Amit Hai Cohen

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Code: 9942

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A musical journey that transcends boundaries in the Jewish-Moroccan world, where the music is a mirror onto a historic period, evoking nostalgia between Muslims and Jews, and offering a glimpse of the interaction between East and West. The film locates celebrated Moroccan musical stars of the 20th century and gives a final voice to a generation that is fast disappearing. 

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About the director

Amit Hai Cohen was born and raised in the southern Israeli town of Netivot, to a Moroccan-Tunisian family. He is a musician, composer, filmmaker and curator, living and working in Jerusalem. Much of his work revolves around the Jerusalem-Morocco connection, such as the musical documentary ‘YA LHMAMA’ (=Oh Dove, 11 min) that was first screened in 2015 at the Andalusian Festival in Essaouira, and the ‘ABIADI’ show (2017) a tribute to the legendary singer of Moroccan Jewry, Zohra Al Fassia, for which he served as the artistic and musical director. In recent years, together with his life partner, the singer Neta Elkayam, he has performed the ‘HOWA JANI’ (2012-2015) musical project worldwide in partnership with the prominent musicians from the Jewish and Arab world. In 2019 Amit produced the Electro-Moroccan project ‘ARÉNAS’ that was invited, along many other festivals, to the Marrakech International Film Festival.


Many of Amit's work address social issues, such as a series of films developed from social struggles he was involved in, including ‘STOP THE EVACUATION’ ( 2015, 35 min) about Ovadia Ben Avraham’s struggle with Amidar, the Israeli National Public Housing Corporation, the soundtrack he composed for the series ‘NEVIIM - Operation Amram’ (2016), which tells the story of the kidnapping of Yemenite Eastern and Balkan children (in Israel), as well as ‘TRAF TRAF’ (2017), a music series and short film (18 min) created during periods of war.  Amit's work also includes composing music for dance and films like the Documentary ‘ZIT AAl MA’ (=Oil on Water, 2014) by Robby Elmaliah, which he also co-wrote the script, the soundtrack of the film ‘LEVANTINE’ (2019) by Rafael Balulu, the theme song for the film ׳ORANGE PEOPLE’ (2013) by Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, the music for the choreography ‘QADAM’ (2013), which he also made the video, and many more. 


Out of the broad artistic world Amit works in, he curated for the Jerusalem Biennial 2019 the spearhead exhibition ‘ZIARA’ which was featured in the historical building of the YMCA and presented contemporary Moroccan artists from around the world in effort to find common wisdom. Amit frequently writes and lectures on topics related to his work. 


In october 2019, the Moroccan-French director Kamal Hachkar premiered his film ‘In Your Eyes, I See my Country’, which followed the beginning of the career of Amit Hai Cohen and Neta Elkayam in Morocco.


About the Producer


For over 30 years, Levy Zini has been producing independent films and documentaries for television and cinema in a number of genres; arthouse, investigative, current events, and docu-activism. From 2009 to 2013, Zini served as the art director for Channel 8, HOT. Levi Zini has won numerous awards at local and international festivals. He has twice been awarded the Minister of Education and Culture Prize for documentary filmmakers (1999 and 2012). 

Among his many works:

2019 – Six Years and Three Months: Begin at the Helm | Director and Producer | A three-part documentary miniseries on peace, war and social revolution | Channel 52 | KAN

2016 - Many Shades of Black | Director and Producer |The world of employed ultra-Orthodox (Haredim) in context of the Beit Shemesh municipal elections | 75 min | Channel 8

2013 - The Land Will not be Silent - Part 3 |Director | Episode in a series on the Yom Kippur War | 50 min | Channel 1, Channel 8

2008 - Mythes et Symboles qui ont fait l’Histoire (Myths and Symbols that made History) | Director | Documentary | 60 min | FRANCE 2

1996 – Anaphase – About the Batsheva Dance Company | Won the Documentary Film Prize at the Haifa Festival in 1999 and an honorable mention at the Amsterdam Festival | 60 min


Doc. Films
Hanegev 5 Tel Aviv


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