RomaFiction Fest: A film on the truth about Ben Barka
by Daniela Palermo
“This film was possible because several important truths on the death of Mehdi Ben Barka have come to light only recently,” said French director Jean Pierre Sinapi in presenting the world premiere of L’affaire Ben Barka at the RomaFiction Fest .
The two-part television film, which stars Atmen Kelif and Simon Abkarian and was completed just three days ago, covers the last years in the life of the leader of the Morrocan opposition, mysteriously kidnapped and presumably assassinated in 1965 in Paris, as well as the subsequent investigation led by the French police.
According to the reconstruction of events put forth in the film, just as Ben Barka was preparing to preside over the nascent Tricontinental Conference, the Moroccan secret services, unbeknownst to King Hassan II but with backing from the CIA and a certain amount of help from the French, were organising the kidnapping.
“What we still don’t know about Ben Barka,” said Sinapi, “is what happened to his body. There are various hypotheses on this and the one embraced in the film is that it was dissolved in acid”.
“The Moroccan institutions were very open,” added producer Joey Faré, “giving us authorisation to shoot in various locations in the country. The same cannot be said about the armed forces, which instead impeded us from shooting numerous scenes”.
(Translated from Italian)