There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The residents of Ifri, a remote village in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, are not totally sold on electricity. Their priority is a road, one that could connect them to schools, food, medical care, and jobs. But it’s painfully hard to build a road in the craggy mountains, and besides, electricity companies want more business. So for three years, Jérôme Le Maire follows Ifri’s residents as electrical poles are erected in their neck of the woods, reaping as much giddiness as suspicion (“They’ll make millions here! Every month, they’ll milk us,” cries one villager). Juicing Ifri is an incredibly drawn-out process, especially because the town is miles from the nearest passable road, and Le Maire’s film occasionally drags as a result. But the villagers’ sense of humor and enthusiasm for technology is undeniable. When a few men pick up a mobile signal, they’re thrilled but realistic: “There’s a signal today! You all can talk to your cows.” Eventually even the old-timers admit they’re not immune to a little excitement. “I’ll buy a TV,” says one, “but a small one.