In August 1973, 58 Moroccan men “disappeared.” Military men involved in a failed coup, they were sent by King Hassan II to a secret and specially constructed prison in eastern Morocco. They were left to rot in dark underground cells without any contact with the outside world or hope for release. Many died.
In Living in Tanzamart, we meet several survivors. They talk about unbearable temperature extremes, how they distracted each other with stories in the pitch dark, and how, no matter how bad things got, they took care of one another. Their stories speak of a terrible case of injustice, but also of tender humanity and the strength of the survival instinct. The static shots of the speaking men are mixed with images of sloping green hills, laundry drying in the wind and the endless sea. These images stand in stark contrast to the claustrophobic stories told by the men, who still become visibly emotional as they share memories from their darkest hell.