School of Hope School of Hope The Children of Morocco’s Desert Nomads Seek a New Way of Life in the Time of Climate Change

About

SCHOOL OF HOPE is an intimate and charming portrait of optimism in the harshest of environments. In this vast expanse of desert, seasonal rain and snow once supported livestock, but now the drought seems to never end. Hardly a blade of grass can be seen, and families travel miles on foot to get water from a muddy hole in the ground. Yet the children willingly ride donkeys and bicycles or walk for miles across rocks to a “school of hope” built of clay.

Following both the students and the teachers in the Dehbi Tribe’s community school for over three years, SCHOOL OF HOPE shows students Mohamed, Miloud, Fatima, and their classmates, responding with childish glee to the school’s altruistic young teacher, Mohamed. Each child faces individual obstacles - supporting their aging parents; avoiding restrictions from relatives based on traditional gender roles - while their young teacher makes do in a house with no electricity or water.

The Dehbi Tribe is just one of many rural communities around the world struggling to establish adequate schooling for students. SCHOOL OF HOPE conveys the passion and commitment of the Dehbi Tribe in securing academic opportunity for their children, despite the roadblocks of their environment and the apparent indifference of their government.

“With this film I want to show that climate change is very unjust. People with the smallest carbon footprint, like the Dehbi tribe, are the ones who suffer the most,” said El Aboudi. “For these people, education is a matter of life and death – there is no future with dignity without education.”

“Director Mohamed El Aboudi grew up in mountains not far from where the Dehbi tribe lives, and he was able to build an empathetic rapport that comes through in every frame,” said Ruth Johnston, General Manager of Vulcan Productions. “His lens captures both the universality and individuality of each child.”

SCHOOL OF HOPE is produced by Pertti Veijalainen of Illume LTD, Hind Saïh and Dominique Barneaud of Bellota Films and with the participation of YLE, France Televisions, 2M and the support of Finnish Film Foundation and Doha Film Institute. Executive Producers are Jody Allen, Ruth Johnston, and Rocky Collins of Vulcan Productions.

About

  • Directed by: Mohamed El Aboudi
  • Produced by: Pertti Veijalainen
  • Produced by: Hind Saih
  • Produced by: Dominique Berneaud
  • Executive Producer: Jody Allen
  • Executive Producer: Ruth Johnston
  • Executive Producer: Rocky Collins
  • Executive Producer: Leila Amren

Seeking a better life

The film follows the children of the Dehbi Tribe, who walk miles to a tiny schoolhouse built by their parents, over a three-year period as they hope to secure academic opportunities that will prepare the next generation for life in a modern world.

08.31.2020


“With this film I want to show that climate change is very unjust. People with the smallest carbon footprint, like the Dehbi tribe, are the ones who suffer the most. For these people, education is a matter of life and death – there is no future with dignity without education.”

Director Mohamed El Aboudi

12.17.2020


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