“… Kathy Wazana’s lyrical documentary They Were Promised the Sea slowly unfolds its tale of a Moroccan-Jewish history that combined a deep multi-century sense of belonging with a hasty departure under the shadow of the Israeli/Arab conflict. The film unveils a complex portrait of intimately connected Jewish and Muslim lives in Morocco. … The film celebrates the mutual Muslim/Jewish desire to revive a precious past that had been partially eclipsed but which, as the dialogue in Hebrew and Arabic in the musical finale shows, remains vital and vibrant.”
–– Ella Habiba Shohat, author of Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation
“[…] explores an important episode in the history of the Maghreb, Palestine and Israel. A necessary contribution […] controversial and thought-provoking.” –– Joslyn Barnes, Louverture Films, New York: The Time That Remains; The House I Live In; Black Power Mixtapes “A beautiful, passionate and probing look into the intertwined histories of Jews and Arabs in Morocco and Israel/Palestine, a look back that inspires hope for the future.”
–– Richard Fung, Video Artist, Cultural Critic, Director: Dal Puri Diaspora
“Combining poetry, music and hauntingly gorgeous high definition images, Kathy Wazana has produced a film that offers viewers a journey of discovery and reveals a Judeo-Arab narrative that challenges the notion of an assumed historical enemy and the dominant view that Jews are refugees from the Arab world.”
–– Michael Ostroff, Director : Winds of Heaven, Canvas of War
“It’s the emotional, lyrical, and poetic quality of the documentary that shines […] a new way of looking at North Africa and Middle East issues.”
–– Barry Greenwald, director: Between Two Worlds, Who Gets In?
“… a splendid and deeply complex investigative exposé … brilliantly conceived and directed – so complex and wrenching … a prayer of hope.”
–– Evangeline Kim, National Geographic Music
About the filmmaker, Kathy Wazana
Kathy Wazana is a Casablanca-born, Toronto-based writer, translator, editor, turned documentary filmmaker, whose current work focuses on Jewish-Arab relations in Morocco and in Israel-Palestine.
In recent years, Kathy has turned her attention to studying and understanding Jewish-Arab relations through the history of Jews in Morocco and her own identity as an Arab Jew.
Kathy has worked in politics and the labour movement, in educational television, publishing and advertising, in government, public and media relations, and in international development, in France and in Canada. She is a life-long peace activist and advocate for equity and human rights.
The rupture provoked by the partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel is the subject of Kathy’s first feature, award-winning documentary They Were Promised the Sea / Pour une Nouvelle Séville.She has presented her film in Jewish Film Festivals, universities, all over the world.
Since 1994, she has spent several years observing and documenting the Israel-Palestine conflict and the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian women and men engaged in a variety of peace initiatives at the political, community, academic and grassroots levels, in Canada, Morocco and in Israel-Palestine.
In Canada, Kathy has spearheaded several joint Jewish-Arab community-building initiatives, including the Playgrounds for Peace Fund (1996), Cooks for Peace, the Just Peace Seder and Community Mimouna (2002-2007, 2013)*. In 2002 she led a Palestinian and Jewish Canadian women’s mission to Israel-Palestine, co-authoring and publishing the mission report Speaking Through Walls – Women Building Peace in Israel-Palestine**. This summer, Kathy was one of the participants on the Gaza Flotilla.
Kathy Wazana is invited to present at the Year of Morocco at Kennesaw State University in October 2018 and we are delighted to welcome her to the larger Atlanta community for a screening of the film and discussion with Kathy, the filmmaker.