Places + Locations | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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The nomad Bedouin Tribe Bakhtyari from Turkey.
The men bring the floating goats skin rhapsody to the water. The children bring the goats and tie them on top so that they could cross the river safely. Horses, cows, sheep, donkeys and men swim... but if a goat can, he won't they have to tie their legs together and put them one next to the other. Four people and a dog cross over with all the goats. " Yo Ali!" Their ancient battle cry. Two men on their knees using sticks to row, the current is very strong. Next to cross are mothers and babies with the folded tents. Glacial water, white with rock dust, cold with the chill of mountain ice. A view from above of another rhapsody crossing, three men rowing this time, trying to manoeuvre despite the strong current. Next one with young donkeys on, more tents. They tie the calf to the raft, hoping the cow will follow. The cow on the river bank watching anxiously, the raft moving away from her.
Now three rafts are crossing at the same time. A hard man, this chief Haidar... and like 'father like son'. The two take off their clothes and take an inflated goat skin each to cross the cold waters, and behind them a herd of cows, horses, more brave swimmers. Now the sheep are being gathered by the shepherds on the bank, and then pushed into the water. "Yo Ali! " Then the cows. Most of the women and children are still on the land. The sheep are being whipped. Then the horses, all get carried away by the strong current. Roaring waters!, screaming tribesmen!, Bellowing herds!. Cries of the drowning! A few goats are swirling down to death. One human saves two goats before they swirl. While the river takes its toll of life. The first swimmers land. The white horse rises from the waters, a few more horses struggling to get out. Shepherds on their individual floaters manoeuvre the herds. "For six days and nights more, an endless desperate battling mob were crossing the River Karum." Unloading the goats on the opposite side. Hundreds are crossing. View from above.
A week later. Haidar, Lufta and another man on horses overlooking the way ahead. A hundred and fifty miles of rugged, unmapped mountains. Pan view. Up the rocky mountain they struggle. Women, kids, donkeys, the riding puppy... week after week they struggle on. One donkey is stuck between the rocks, two men are rescuing. The women push the laden cows up the path. At length they make the nights camp at the foot of a precipice, and morning finds them stopped by two thousand feet of sheer rock wall impossible to climb. They all gather at the feet of the mountain. "No! Starvation lies behind and ahead lie grass and life. We must go on!. Two old women with babies on their backs are climbing on the rocks, leading the goats. The men go up and down to help the herds, even a goat can hardly find a foothold.
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