Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour
The Middle east in the 1950's
Over the sound of Muslims being called to prayer, we see the turret of a mosque in the bright sun. A mass of followers of Islam pray towards Mecca. A nomadic tribesman places his prayer mat on the ground and prays. Another man prays in his home. Shot of Mecca, the Holy City in Saudi Arabia . Middle Eastern ancient ruins. The Dome of the Rock where King Solomon built his temple and Mohammed ascended to heaven. A mosque. Close up of textured sand in the desert panning into a long shot of the desert. A nomad forages among rocks, a camel in the background. Close up of his hand finding a piece of greenery between some rocks. Map of the Middle East mentions Iran as opposed to Persia; Yemen, Aden and Oman as opposed to the United Arab Emirates or UAE. Division of the Middle Eastern people into city dwellers, nomads and peasant farmers. Shot of city dwellers in street market. The purchase of a coffee pot in a city bazaar. The trader wears a pinstripe suit and a red fez. The purchaser, a Bedouin tribesman, wears traditional Arab garb. Close up of a peasant farmer in the shop. His name is Mustapha and he lives in a nearby village. Shot of his camel, a donkey, a black milk goat and some chickens. Mustapha's wife comes out of a stone cottage carrying a large woven tray of pitta bread. Over shot of Mustapha's village of stone huts. Long shots of women preparing straw for roofing materials. Shepherd attending his flock of sheep and goats on common ground. Farmer ploughing the ground with a camel and a hand plough in preparation for a wheat plot. Women planting the field. Irrigation ditch. Shots of full fertile fields; a man holding a basket of fresh olives; a man in a white headdress picks Egyptian cotton.
A map indicates fertile growing areas of the Middle East and grazing areas. Scene of herdsman in the shop with the metal coffee pot again. Street scene with a bus coming into shot and several Arabs in their headdresses disembarking. Our herdsman returns to collect his camel; we see him riding out of the stable and he rides across the desert to his camp. His son greets him as he climbs off his camel and they walk towards their tent. The son carries a coffee pot. Interior of tent with rugs and cushions. Goat and sheep graze. Camels stand in the desertscape. Packing up the camp; folding tents. The Bedouin camel caravan takes off for the next waterhole. Ali, the nomad, is an excellent tracker. He checks a sign in the sand; the shot is a very noble savage type of shot. The Arab nomad from a lowish angle against a bright clear sky.
The merchant, Youssof, represents the city dweller or the middle class of the Middle East. Same shot of him bargaining with Ali, the nomad. Palace of a sheik. Stone dwelling of a peasant farmer. Street scene in a town. Middle class home of the merchant. He wears Western or European style clothing with his fez. Interior of his living room, his son sits on a red couch. Curious mixture of Eastern and Western styles. Youssof sits and reads his paper; both his children are also reading. Close up of 1950's style black telephone. Youssof picks it up and talks to a man in an office. Commentary talks about the recent discovery of oil. Oil storage tanks. Two engineers working on a piece of pipeline in the desert. An oil tanker moored offshore.
Map of oil producing countries in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; maps of pipelines and oil refineries. Imports and exports outlined. Major cities of the Middle East pinpointed on the map. The university campus tennis court; students walking to and from class including women, all dressed in Western clothing. Men and women in white coats in a modern well-equipped laboratory. A medical clinic or health centre. A new school building. A farmer on a tractor ploughing his field. A huge water wheel and an aqueduct compared to a newly built irrigation system. Two men work an old loom including a close up of hands on the cloth of the loom. Trucks pull out of the factory. Interior of a modern cloth mill. A man in a fez poses by a radio microphone with a script in his hand. Dock scenes. A camel caravan in the desert. A bus on a desert road. A truck on a desert highway. A TWA airplane pulls into a new terminal building proably Riyaddh. General street scene. Merchant serves Bedouin again in the bazaar scene. A mosque at sunset. The call to prayer over the soundtrack.
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