Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival



In a place where droughts have scorched the ground and water is scarce, a little hut stands in the middle of the vast rocky terrain, housing a school, known as the School of Hope. The droughts and dry land has made the lives of nomads in the Moroccan outback very difficult, leaving very few to continue their traditional lifestyle of herding animals in the rural regions. But in the midst of the harsh temperatures, a school is nevertheless standing, offering an education to young kids.

Mohamed El Aboudi’s School of Hope follows the children and their lives, as they sometimes trek 12 km to get to school. It is a taxing journey, and the children’s absence from their workload at home is keenly felt by some parents. Others however, fight for the little clay building, and the possibilities it can bring for their children. Over the course of the film, the value of education is highlighted in the stark contrast of the traditional livelihoods of the Oulad Boukais tribe, which in this day and age is becoming more and more uncertain.

The precarious future remains oblivious for the most part on the young faces of the classroom children. Their giddy excitement is almost contagious as they giggle over the sounds of animals, make a makeshift football field, or ponder what it is they want to be when they grow up. El Aboudi tells a story that takes a look at climate change, education, and the future, all the while seen through the perspectives of nomads and their children, who face a difficult tomorrow, but not one without hope.

Lydia Taylerson

Language: Arabic
Subtitles: English
Director: Mohamed El Aboudi
Production Country: Finland, France, Morocco, USA
Year: 2020
Length (min): 78
Age limit: S
Cinematographer: Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen, Marita Hällfors, Päivi Kettunen
Screenplay: Mohamed El Aboudi
Editing: Lizi Gelber, Florence Bresson, Mohamed El Aboudi, Mikko Sippola
Music: Richard Horowitz, Andrew Silagy
Producer: Pertti Veijalainen, Hind Saih, Lamia Chraibi
Production Company: Illume Ltd