A stranger with red boots rode in...
In 1851, a horseback rider in red-topped Moroccan leather boots approached two men clearing ground for a town in the middle of the United States. According to legend, the founders named their new town in Indiana after the traveler's boots. Today, few residents of Morocco know much about the kingdom in Africa. We decided to connect them.
🇲🇦 Morocco, Morocco 🇺🇸 explores the history of how the city in the United States got its name. We hang out with the town doctor, the sheriff, a single mom who owns a cafe, a tattoo artist, and a farmer to get a sense of what it's like to live in Morocco in the middle of America. We then travel to Morocco in Africa to film a leather bootmaker whose job has hardly changed for 170 years. The highlight of the film are the children in Morocco and Morocco, whose ideas about each other remind us that we are all connected.
In July 2019, journalist and filmmaker Jackie Spinner was driving home to Chicago with her two Moroccan-born sons after vacation. She spotted a town called Morocco in Indiana on a map. It was only about 2 hours southeast of Chicago and just across the Illinois border. She decided to stop early one morning on the last leg of their trip. As she watched her sons play, her oldest son turned to her. "This doesn't look like Morocco," he told her. Her younger son then asked her where all the Moroccans were. A film idea was born.
Spinner spent the next two years visiting the town and filming with her Chicago-based team to find out how the town got its name and what connections--if any, existed between the town of Morocco and the country in North Africa. They followed the mystery of the red boots, which are featured prominently on the town's welcome sign, back to Africa, where they filmed the final segments in the midst of the pandemic. Morocco, Morocco is the story of what they found.