The Magician: A Tragicomedy of Illusions

Yto Barrada. 2003. France, Morocco. 18’


“The hands of the magician are faster than the eyes of the spectator.” - Abdelouahid El Hamri, aka Sinbad of the Straits. In the case of Sinbad, however, the surprises of prestidigitation are sometimes less magical than quite worldly. This private display of Sinbad's illusions, in front of a black curtain in the courtyard of Mr. El Hamri's house in Tangier, includes the appearance of a number of ping-pong balls and white doves, swallowing of razor blades, and an attempt to reproduce his most difficult trick: “How to Make a Chicken Go to Sleep”.