Selected by Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, the first film of director Nacer Khemir tells the story of a quest. A young man departs for a remote village he is appointed as teacher. In the middle of the silent desert, the faraway and monotonous echo of a song reverberates. What he hears is an Andalusian song that resembles a call coming out of the sand. Suddenly, he sees mixed in the sand, the slow movements of people emerging from the depths of the desert. They are the wanderers of the desert, who follow an almost invisible track beyond which there is a different world… –Istanbul Film Festival
Nacer Khemir (Arabic: ناصر خمير), born in 1948 in Korba, Tunisia, is a Tunisian writer, artist, storyteller, and filmmaker.
From an early age, Khemir was fascinated by classical Arabic culture and by storytelling. He has cited the One Thousand and One Nights as a particular influence, saying, “I am a child of these stories.” However, in spite of this interest and a similar, lasting passion for film, Khemir initially planned a career as a painter and sculptor – a path he has, throughout his life, continued to pursue; his art has been exhibited at, among other institutions, the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
In 1966, at the age of eighteen, he was awarded a UNESCO fellowship to study film in Paris. In 1975, he completed his first film, L’Histoire du pays du Bon Dieu (The History of God’s Country), shot in his hometown of Korba and featuring the desert setting and spiritual overtones that would figure prominently in his later work.
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" There are lands that are full of water for the well-being of the body, and lands that are full of sand for the well-being of the soul."
Pretty lackluster compared to Bab'Aziz. Had some moments, but I lost interest after a while. Some beautiful shots of the desert, and wonderful but too much style and not enough substance. The best part is the look the film gives into a culture totally removed from the familiar.