On Morocco’s old pirate coast, in the city of Salé, a new generation of pirates are setting sail in Morocco’s first professional circus. For the hundreds of teenagers that audition each year, Cirque Shems’y represents an escape from the difficult life in the poorest slums in Morocco.
Pirates of Salé introduces us to four young performers on a tough journey of transformation, as they train for their first show and learn to live independently, express themselves, challenge convention and embrace the completely alien concept of artistic freedom. Set against the incredible Moroccan coast, this documentary follows Hajar, a talented aerialist who lived on the streets until she joined the circus; Imed a dazzling performer who sees circus as a way to challenge corruption in Morocco; Rizlan fighting for a life of creative freedom rather than an arranged marriage; and Abd’Ali who has to succeed to support his nine brothers and sisters back at home.
Director Rosa Roger hopes to inspire young people across cultures and social circumstances to dare to dream and to express themselves in relation to the world around them.