Jonathan Miller wrote:
> Dear Susan, Darla, and anyone else interested:
> There is an old history to this film which still comes up from time to
> time, and some of what is written below is not accurate. So, I
> forwarded this email to Prof. Elizabeth Fernea
> http://www.frif.com/subjects/fernea.html of the University of Texas at
> the time. Here is what she wrote to me "to set the record straight":
> "SOME WOMEN OF MARRAKESH, a film in Granada Television's Disappearing
> World series, came out in 1976 and won prizes and acclaim for its
> producer-director, Melissa Llewelyn-Davies. It boosted the first
> all-woman crew in the history of British TV. I served as ethnographic
> consultant. Then Odyssey bought the footage in 1981 to recut it for
> PBS. (For that version, I was co-producer with Melanie Wallace). But
> Ms. Llewelyn-Davies, who had final say since she was the original
> producer-director of the footage, did not like the PBS version, which
> aired in 1982. Thus she refused to let it be released for any other TV
> or theatrical showings.
> "Years later, the University of Texas obtained permission to
> distribute it FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. The VHS may still be
> purchased from the Department of Anthropology, U. of Texas, Austin,
> TX. 78712, attention: Pam Becker. Cost is US $200 and all moneys go
> into student fellowships in anthropology and film.
> "SAINTS AND SPIRITS is a different film altogether, and its history is
> also different. This 28-minute film was produced in 1978 with a small
> grant from the NEH, and utilized (with Granada management permission)
> out-takes from SOME WOMEN OF MARRAKESH, unused footage on the
> religious experiences of Moroccan women. I raised the money and was
> associate producer. Melissa Llewelyn-Davies retained the rights, as
> original director-producer of the footage, to be credited as such on
> SAINTS AND SPIRITS. Since 1978, this short film has been distributed
> by First Run/Icarus Films and has been shown in London, Stockholm and
> at the National Gallery, Washington, DC., as well as being a selection
> of the Margaret Mead Film Ethnographic Film Festival in New York.
> Curiously, Granada Television also lists it as one of its films!
> "As for offending the Muslim community: the Moroccan Embassy did
> indeed lodge a formal complaint, first with Granada and then to PBS,
> about the bath scene, but that did not affect the film's airing. It is
> still one of the most popular films available at the Musee de l'Homme
> and the Pompidou Museum in Paris. Further, a review in one of
> Morocco's Arabic newspapers cited "its veracity in reporting honestly
> the problems of Moroccan women" and asked the rhetorical question,
> "Why can't Moroccan film makers produce such work? Why do we wait for
> foreigners to do it?" The review was written by Leila Abouzeid, a
> well-respected Moroccan novelist.
> "So, a long and tangled history, but one that continues." -- Elizabeth
> I hope this is helpfulm.
> Jonathan Miller
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>>> Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 12:08:27 -0800
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>>> From: Susan Weber <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Some Women of Marrakech
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>>> This program was pulled from release. The entire series,
>>> Disappearing World was
>>> produced by Granada TV,over more than a decade.
>>> However this one program, Some Women of Marrakech offended the
>>> Muslim community
>>> because there was a scene where the women were in a communal shower
>>> & were
>>> not covered.
>>> As a consequence, the 53 minute program was edited down to 25 minutes
>>> and this was produced by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The
>>> of Texas at Austin. The title was changed to, Saints and Spirits.
>>> There is no date
>>> on this production, we looked.
>>> I hope this provides you with some better info. to find the program.
>>> At 10:13 AM 2004-03-31, you wrote:
>>>> I have been asked where to purchase a video called Women of
>>>> Marrakech. I think the title is actually Some Women of Marrakech,
>>>> a film that was featured in the PBS series Odyssey in 1981. I have
>>>> not been able to find it listed anywhere; does anyone know whether
>>>> this film is still available?
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> Darla Moore
>>>> Rollins College
>>> -- --- -- --- -- --- --
>>> Susan Weber
>>> Media Librarian
>>> Langara College
>>> Advanced Education Media Acquisitions Centre (AEMAC)
>>> Fast Forward Educational Media Showcase
>>> April 28-29, 2004
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>> Jonathan Miller, President
>> First Run/Icarus Films, Inc.
>> 32 Court Street, 21st Floor
>> Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
>> Tel. 1.718.488.8900
>> Fax. 1.718.488.8642
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