The film, “Midnight Orchestra,” follows a Jewish man’s return to Morocco, where he was raised.
Slowly, through the film, he discovers why his father, a famous musician, made his family leave the country for Israel decades before.
The director of “Midnight Orchestra,” Jérôme Cohen-Olivar, said the fictitious family’s departure reflects a real decision that many Moroccan Jews made between the 1950s and 1970s when Arab-Israeli tensions flared.
“At the peak of the community, I think it was around a quarter of a million, 250,000 Jews in Morocco, which is a lot if you count the total Jewish population – the world Jewish population,” said Cohen-Olivar, speaking by phone from Morocco.
“Right now there are about 2,000 Jews left in Morocco, which is basically nothing,” Cohen-Olivar said. “So I just ask myself this question: ‘Why?’ It’s as simple as that. So that was the springboard of my story was just, ‘Why? Why did these people leave?'”
Cohen-Olivar’s film, “Midnight Orchestra, is screening at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival this Saturday.