The Pirates of Salé: Pirates of Art and Hope
The city of Salé in Morocco is home to Cirque Shems’y, an organization that has become a safe haven for many disadvantaged kids that live in the city and its surroundings.
Life is difficult for Abdelali, Ghizlane and Imed. They are desperate to find a way to improve their lives in any way possible because if they fail to do so, they will get dragged into a life of crime or worse. Each teenager in the documentary has a story to tell and dreams to live for, and Cirque Shems’y offers them salvation. The process they have to go through is tough; it requires long hours of practice and a rigorous discipline. However, if they manage to be selected, the reward will definitely be worth it because it will give them a chance to leave their old lives behind, provide for their impoverished families and maybe in some distant future become well-known circus performers in and out of Morocco.
What made Pirates of Salé really stand out to me as a documentary is its sincerity in capturing the struggles of these youth. We can clearly see that these teenagers have had tough lives, but they are still hopeful. Though some continued with the circus, some left and others crossed Moroccan frontiers, their journeys have not ended, they have just begun.