Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Singer Raymonde El Bidaouia is rightly referred to as a living legend: She’s performed Judeo-Arabic music on both sides of the Mediterranean for over half a century. Born Raymonde Cohen in Morocco (her stage name means “from Casablanca” in Arabic), El Bidaouia immigrated to Israel at 18. In addition to her music career, she has championed feminist causes, acted in film and theater, retained her Moroccan dialect despite pressures to assimilate, and raised her daughter alone after losing her husband in a car accident. That daughter, award-winning Israeli actress Yaël Abecassis (Prisoners of War, Live and Become), has crafted an intimate and affectionate documentary portrait of the woman she knows better than anyone, yet about whom so much remains mysterious. As the pair journey from Israel to formative locales in Morocco, they share their profound love of music, mutual grief and hardships, and indissoluble mother-daughter bond.