'Children Of The Clouds'
'Children of the Clouds'
A Filmmaker's Journey in Western Sahara
Dir. Carlos González
In May 2005, after 30 years of Moroccan occupation, Saharawi students initiated a series of peaceful demonstrations demanding their right to the United Nations-mandated referendum on Western Saharan independence. The Moroccan authorities responded with a brutal campaign of repression, detaining and torturing human rights activists as well as Saharawi students and children as young as eight years old.
One year after the Intifada began, Carlos González travels to El Aaiún, Western Sahara, to make a documentary about the wave of oppression unleashed on Saharawi students by Moroccan security forces. Accompanied on his journey by human rights activist Hmad Hammad, Carlos interviews students and activists about their experiences living under occupation - but not without interference. Put under surveillance by the Moroccan secret police shortly after his arrival in El Aaiún, he is eventually detained, interrogated, and expelled from the Western Sahara. On June 6th, the Assabah newspaper of Casablanca publishes a fabricated confession in which he admits to being and agent of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.