Film: 5403

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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Bahrain in the 1950's

Aerial view of large town of Manama in flat coastal setting. Moving to red American automobile being driven down highway (surrounded by date palms). Driving across the island to West Coast, across causeway. Minaret. Car passing laden donkeys in town. Desert shots, arriving at large villa, family sitting in garden on rug with cushions and plates of food. Visitor in suit, all others in robes or Arab dresses. Pouring small cups of coffee from metal pot. Visitor and family with Falcon in the desert, hood removed, pigeon released. Falcon in pursuit. Mounds pointed out which are burial grounds. Excavations on ruined fort, high brick wall. Rubble moved hand to hand in basket, men lifting water from wells. Men washing clothes in oasis. Cattle in pens, men climbing up date palms with baskets to collect dates, children playing in shade climbing up palms, one child falls and twists ankle.

Carried by visitor to car and then onwards to the village clinic. Next morning visit to hospital. Shown round by a European sister. Visit to the capital. Many large American cars parked, donkey and cart, traffic directed by man in khaki outfit with red turban. Stop at yard where dhows are being constructed. View of port and dockside facilities, loading of sacks and barrels on to wooden craft at sea while sail is raised. Smaller vessel powered by four rowers. Man hooking fish baskets from the sea bed. Dhows anchoring for pearl diving. Baskets and ropes pulled down by the river, pulled up by the row of men on board. Oysters emptied and then opened. Sale transactions on shore. Hundreds of pearls revealed in a knotted red cloth. Sunset. Children arriving for school the following morning. Two storey white building, with wide open corridors in courtyard playing fields, boys play basketball, tennis. Visit to club football match. Mosque on the background. Plaque on stone monument for the Bahrain Petroleum Company. Shots of pipes and oil facilities, men drilling for oil, travelling to large oil refinery, entrance gate topped by Caltex logo, aerial shot of refinery and fuel depots. Workers loading barrels into pyramids. Close-up of prow of ship moored on jetty. The 'Caltex Utrecht'.

Visit to fair and agricultural show. We see men similarly and finely dressed in brown and white robes with small daggers around the chest. His Highness Sheikh Sir Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, KCMG, KCIE, Ruler of Bahrain. A, (leaving his palace). Procession of mounted troops with red turbans, demonstration of hand loom. Stone carving. Take off at Bahrain airport on Middle East Airways. Air hostess's first Arab women apparent in this documentary.

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