âAn Arabian dream that weaves timeless story threads with mystical and Sufi elements into a beautiful film object. . . as fascinating as reading a new chapter of 1,001 Nights.â - - Deborah Young, Variety
A visual poem of incomparable beauty, this masterpiece from director Nacer Khemir (Wanderers of the Desert) begins with the story of a blind dervish named BabâAziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years.
With faith as their only guide, the two journey for days through the expansive, barren landscape. To keep Ishtar entertained, BabâAziz relays the ancient tale of a prince who relinquished his realm in order to remain next to a small pool in the desert, staring into its depths while contemplating his soul.
As the tale of the prince unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own - including Osman, who longs for the beautiful woman he met at the bottom of a well, and Zaid, who searches for the ravishing young woman who fled from him after being seduced by his songs. Filled with breathtaking images and wonderful music, Nacir Khemir has created a fairytale-like story of longing and belonging, filmed in the enchanting and ever-shifting sandscapes of Tunisia and Iran.
âA structurally audacious fairy tale that imparts moral lessons and shows how narratives reflect and shape lifeâ¦ cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari frames the dunes, rock formations and sandblasted village and cities with a poetâs eye, turning real spaces into dreamscapes.â âMatt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
âThe breathtaking desert landscapes that dominate Nacer Khemirâs beautiful, elliptical Middle East drama deserve the big screenâ¦ youâll remember the dreamlike state the film induces long after the credits roll.â âNew York Magazine
âcinematographer Mahmoud Kalari infuses the screen with sumptuous yet unemphatic colors, filtered through sun and wind and sand. Thereâs nothing forced about BabâAziz; its ideas resonate quietly, building to a breathtaking climax.â âSheri Linden, LA Times
âAn Arabian dream that weaves timeless story threads with mystical and Sufi elements into a beautiful film objectâ¦..as fascinating as reading a new chapter of 1,001 Nights.â âDeborah Young, Variety
âWatching it is like entering another realm in both form and content, which is what makes the film so intriguing, especially in this day and age of the so-called âclash of civilizationsâ between Islam and the West.â âEd Rampell, Los Angeles Journal
Produced by Cyriac Auriol .... producer Karl Baumgartner .... co-producer Lauraine Heftler .... assistant producer AndrÃ¡s Muhi .... co-producer Ali Reza Shoja-Nuri .... producer
Original Music by Armand Amar
Cinematography by Mahmoud Kalari
Film Editing by Isabelle Rathery
Casting by Leila Fournier Sarah Teper
Costume Design by Maud Perl
Production Management Asen Kanchev .... music production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Benjamin Blanc .... assistant director Iraj Habashi .... second assistant director: Iran Amin Mahdavi .... first assistant director
Art Department Majid Mir-fakhrai .... artistic advisor Issa Traverdian .... props: Iran
Visual Effects by Manfred BÃ¼ttner .... visual effects producer Erich Eder .... visual effects supervisor Yves GÃ¶bel .... digital effects artist Daniel Lo Iacono .... digital effects artist Sandra Moll .... visual effects producer Heiko Schweizer .... digital effects artist
Camera and Electrical Department Shahrad Banki .... still photographer Mondher El Gaied .... grip: Tunisia