Doc about villagers in Morocco protesting a silver mine is a timely, but light on substance
AMUSSU (Nadir Bouhmouch, Morocco, Qatar). 99 minutes. Rating: NN
Much like the pipeline protests that have raged on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border since 2016, in 2011 the Imider villagers of Morocco began a peaceful protest against Managem silver mine in hopes of protecting their land and lives from environmental devastation. Amussu is a timely film about a challenge facing communities all over the world, but 10 minutes in it’s clear director Nadir Bouhmouch has chosen to tell the story in an art-house style that’s light on substance.
Snippets of conversations amongst villagers about a man who has been arrested and interludes of men singing protest songs while boys lounge under almond blossom trees taking photos for Facebook as the women work feel like wasted opportunities. The doc never delves into how a community facing governmental and police backlash has successfully maintained its resistance for nearly a decade.