Double Projection Casablanca
Remember Resistance was interested in the background of the famous film classic Casablanca and took a closer look at the film’s location—an “immigrant hub” that served as projection screen for a multiplicity of fantasies, both during fascism and in the present day. Humphrey Bogart’s role as the owner of Rick’s Café, an American expatriate living in Morocco and small-time criminal, has been historically represented thus: he was previously a resistance fighter in the Spanish Civil War and an anti-colonial arms dealer, supplying weapons to Ethiopia against Italy.
Casablanca was originally intended to be set in the north Moroccan harbor of Tangier, the transit point between (Nazi) Europe, the still unoccupied parts of Portugal and the United States as a destination for European exiles. After the success of the Hollywood remake of Algiers, the title “Casablanca” struck Warner Studios marketing strategists as more attractive than “Tangier”.
The clapperboard for the state-controlled war production also featured the words “White House”, recalling both the light-colored façades of buildings in North Africa and the President’s home in Washington. In the end, the film was shot in the Warner Studios in Los Angeles, with the exception of a few exterior shots made at an air force base. Casablanca, the city the film was based on, has actually been known as Dar el Beida since de-colonization. Casablanca is thus a multiple projection; the film reminds us that World War II was not least of all fought in the colonized world.
Remember Resistance (Jochen Becker, Julien Enoka-Ayemba, Sonja Hohenbild, Brigitta Kuster)
Brigitta KUSTER, an artist, video-/filmmaker and author, lives in Berlin. Her work focuses on topics such as the representation of work, gender and sexual identity, (urban) space, migration, transnationality and (post-)colonialism.
6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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