Places + Locations | 1930 | Sound | Colour
It is a simple film following a camel caravan arriving at an oasis in the ruined city of Palmyra in Syria.
A wide shot of the desert landscape shows a procession of camels loaded up with crates, boxes and other goods ridden by Arab men wearing traditional dress of kuffiya headcloths and tunics. The camel train enters the Roman ruins of Palmyra. They arrive at a pool of water near tall palm trees. The cameleers relieve the animals of their cargo and then walk towards a white washed building. They enter the open-roof dwelling and walk through a courtyard garden. Two men kneel to splash their faces in water. A woman carrying a large vase on her head walks towards a group of three men smoking shisha pipes. A gang of children run down a flight of stairs on the outside of the building and into the nearby olive groves. A group of naked boys run and splash excitedly through a stream of well water. Meanwhile a group of men are sat on the ground communally eating from a large plate of meat with flat bread. One of the men gets up and goes to splash his face with water before reclining under the shade of an olive tree.
A historical overview of the region is narrated, referring to Syria as "once the cradle of civilisation". A shot of the remains of the columns reveals the intricate detail with which the stone was carved. The men leave the dwelling and collect their waiting camels. From the distance we see a silhouette of the camel procession against the setting sun.
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