Film: 9530

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour


Iraq in the 1950's

An aircraft flying over the land of Iraq. Side view, Iraq in the heart of the Middle East. Birds eye view of the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates. An Iraqi shepherd, behind him the remains of a building with an arch, a view from above of the same building. Contrast to modern life, a view between palm trees of a moving train, from the aircraft showing the religious centre of Baghdad. "Today Iraq is a main junction linking East & west, no longer an isolated country"
A train coming towards us, a view from a bridge over the waters. The train arrives at the platform of BAGDAD WEST. In the capitol city, people getting off. Views of Baghdad's harbour, many people walk towards the mosque wearing traditional clothes. Kids and cattle bathing in a river, girls in uniform play a ball-game. A swimming pool full of youngsters. Modern street, a bus, cars, corner shop, men in a café - 2 play Shesh-Besh, craftsmen in the bazaar carrying on old tradition, carpet selling. Police force standing in a line, then march. People getting on a bus, a traffic policeman at duty. A roundabout, horses on the rink, a race, crowd cheering. Close up of a fisherman on a boat. Palm trees, men climbing up the palm trees. "The old legend says that the Garden of Eden once was between these two rivers". The old way of drawing water from a well with the help of donkeys. A farmer in a field of sunflowers. Mountain view. Shepherd plays the pipe, the sheep near by in a field of poppies, a flowing stream. Only in the north there is enough water from the melting snow to cultivate the land. Two hunters. Women at work in the village, similar life style to the biblical times, doing their washing, carrying jugs of water on their shoulders. The men at work tending the vine, watering crops, seeding the field, turning the soil with the help of two bulls. A man calls for a prayer from a mountain top. Shepherds with their herds. A view over the village. Women wearing wool, men relaxing in a café conversing. Girls playing ' 5 stones'. A big gathering of hundreds at spring time, to the sound of a big drum and trumpet, the men dance in a circle. A boat is arriving at the Persian Gulf, where the 2 rivers join, a crossroads of world trade , the port of Basra. Little boats of traders, a train transferring the goods. Sail to the Indian Gulf and the far ocean, old car is picked up. Barrels, men at work, aircraft taking off. Airport announcement. A reflection of men on a boat in the waters. The men are picking shoots off the river bank for their roofs. Men mending a fishing net. Men pulling the net from the waters, they all rock from side to side in rhythm. The boats are going out and come back. A young man is feeding baby bird.

Close up of a man wearing 'Caffiya'. Here was once the most ancient cities of the world, ancient remains of a building, writing on the wall , broken crockery, stone wall. Babylon, its ancient walls decorated by animals carved , a wall with ancient writing on. Remains of different ages of conquerors Persian ( statue on the ground).
Greek, Alexander the Great ( a carved wall) and the Arab (another carved statue), "marching to the inspiration of a voice heard in Mecca". A flag, white with a red crescent and a 7 point star, Arabic writing. Many riding over the planes. Works of art from the Islamic influence that has flourished here for 600 years, pictures of the Arabian knights. The Mongols brought disruptions, a view of ruins of a fort, during the middle ages. The Iraqi then became wanderers upon the face of the earth. Camels, sheep are stopping to drink, men in the shade of a tent. They survived these dark ages through the common bond of religion and faith in Islam A beautiful picture of muzerin towers and mosque cloths. The men are praying. Almost 700 years later Iraq regained their independence.

A parade in the streets at 1953 celebrating 21 years of independence and the crowning of a king, descendant of the Prophet - showing him in Royal horse and carriage. Now there is a radio broadcast, a crowd. Close up of people listening. Field gun shooting in a ceremony of goodwill as the king comes out from the palace. "Atmosphere of confidence in what has been achieved, modern industries made a move". Workers are walking towards a factory, a hose pipe revolves around, cog wheels, chimneys smoking. A measures indicting, oil industry at play, untapped until this century, drilling deep down, military orchestra, horsemen march a military parade. A crushing wave. Two men carrying a great drum, view from above. In the field a combine harvester, new techniques, industry site, metal bridge pipes. Fires scattered, burning fumes come out from chimneys. A vehicle completely covered with flowers carrying the King, young lady dressed in white form a circle on a moving vehicle, another carrying a huge harp played by a girl whilst others hold a ball in front on a special chair. Two youngsters sit signifying a brighter future. Kids walk. School, laboratories, teachers in classroom, In hospital, women and men in surgery, nurse is examining kids. Women sewing modern clothing, musicians playing a string instrument, an art class with a woman model sculpting, ancient wall carving, a statue of a woman with 3 flowers stemming out of her hand in, a young girl, bearded man. Check up before take off the aircraft. A view from above the harbour, river and city.
The End

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