BEYOND - Chapter 1
Beyond, the new Surf Movie is about travelling and discovering Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal.
The road trip in the north of Morocco is split into three parts: Starting in Safi with a world class point break to Zagora, close to the Sahara, the driest spot in the world.
Safi, the royal phosphorus town and his hidden princess – the magical left from Ras Lafaa.
When we drove down south at the coast to the north of Morocco we were welcomed by a burning, metallic and acrid smell in the air: It was the fumes emitted from the many phosphorus factories. All strung together they were striking sights along the southerly exit of the main road from Safi.
The last days we were shooting together with Mehdi Serghini, a local surfer and hotel owner, in Ras Lafaa, the magical left. The wave was good, but unfortunately not epic as we hoped. She would have needed one more meter of swell to work perfectly or perhaps the swells´ direction should have turned a bit. Despite this, we could sniff her huge potential.
Industry and surfing. Or more precisely: Industry vs. Surfing. That was the topic which shrouded our whole stay. Some surfers want to turn Safi into a surf tourist Mecca and to get rid of the health threatening heavy industry. Some surfers are just not interested in anything to do with that. If things don´t change, Safi will always be in the shadow of the big surf hotspots like Taghazout.
And suddenly he stands at the street corner: Yassine.
Skater Yassine Boundouq was rolling through the country and shared a special message – a road trip with a longboard to Marrakech, the town from 1001 Nights.
He could be a sponsored rider for any European skate shop - Yassine Boundouq– dreadlocks, a peace sign necklace and an outfit, which could be worn by any Skater from back home. But Yassine was born in Morocco. Skating and the linked concept of freedom have almost transcendental dimensions for him.
Skating and freedom – these are Yassine’s twin passions and his mission. Yassine cruised with his longboard in Morocco from the north to the south. His road trip was through a country which is more than 2.000 km long, in a country which has some big issues to respect the freedom of opinion.
Morocco is still a quite restrictive nation, but there´s a movement towards better understanding in the country of Tajine, the rawest point breaks and Argan Oil.
Yassine is an ambassador of the new generation of Moroccans. Aspiring, agile, cosmopolitan and ambitious.
Yassine who comes from Safi spreads his message through his skate road trips: “Stand up, take your life in your hands and discover the world. Do something!”
In part two the trip goes on to Jemaa el’Fnaa, Africa’s most renowned square, the spot for oriental market culture.
Light, Food and Drinks like in a fairy tale – Jemaa el´ Fnaa in Marrakech
We arrived in Marrakech and instantly the our pace of life, which is normally quite relaxed, starts to accelerate, fast.
In Marrakech, there´s an unbelievable hustle in the city, loud noises, plenty of exotic smells and a sea of crazy lights. In the epicentre, you´ll find the market which is centuries old unfolds itself in all directions and takes all the space that it needs.
In centuries past, traders from Mali or Niger come to this place to trade their exotic goods, often travelling thousands of kilometres to do so(sometimes they still do, today). More commonly nowadays masses of tourists wiggle through that spectacle, but now they have switched from camels to Segways. Or something like that. The spectacle might not look as authentic anymore, but it still delivers moments of fun and excitement and makes us believe that we have witnessed the real oriental Africa. You have to breathe in the unbelievable changing kaleidoscope of sensory stimuli, but you should not forget to take a big sip of water because now it´s time to go to the dessert.
Part three in this North Morocco series takes us over the high Atlas into the Sahara, the biggest sand desert in the world. No surf!
From the simplicity, the emptiness and simultaneous abundance of the dessert - we scratch at the edge of the Sahara.
After days of mayhem in abundance, we went to the south-east of the country. Directly into the dessert. We said our goodbyes to Yassine and to the coolness of the Atlas Mountains. The compass of our pick- up showed us, that we´re moving away from our beloved fresh water of the Atlantic. The landscapes´ whispering which flashed by from minute to minute became louder. “No, you won´t find any water nor will you find waves here. This is the desert.” And this isn’t just any desert –this is the Sahara desert, the driest in the whole world. It may be dry, but that doesn´t mean that you won´t find any wealth or an abundance of life there.
Next to great date tree you will find an Oasis, (yes, there is actually some water here), and some of the friendliest people on the planet. And they have endless stories to tell: From the abundance and width of the desert and it’s eloquent silence. A place full of life.
About the Project:
Impressions from the northern part of the shooting trip by Beyond – An African Surf Documentary.
A Movie produced by the makers of The Old, the Young & the Sea, supported by Blue Tomato. The crew of six guys went to Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal to shoot three months of footage for their upcoming surf movie, which shows the complex culture and life of the local people.
On the movie’s website, you´ll find more information about Beyond Surf Movie Stories about Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. Movie Release: Autumn 2016.