M'ZAB, Stedelijk wonen in de woestijn

1974 00:46:05 col.

M’zab, on a couple of cities by the border of the desert in Algeria, proposes an extraordinary architecture of living: in an unwelcoming environment a religiously inspired community has developed a very particular style of living over the centuries. The efficiency of prehistoric habitation construction engineering can still be admired here. The question arising from this exploration is: for how much longer ? These closed communities, these villages are slowly getting unpopulated; the call of the world of traffic – the traffic of goods and means – often seems stronger than the attachment to a ‘home’.

00’00" Leader. 00’07" An Ibadite sheikh from Mzab speaking about the opportunities offered by the modern world. 01’30" Titles. 01’35" View of donkey-drivers in front of the walls of the village. General view of the town and the prayer tower. 04’50" Views of donkey-drivers carrying stones through alleys in Ghardaïa. Views of Ibadites hewing stones, then gathering for prayers in El Hayat mosque. 08’15" Views of the market and people going about their business. Pictures of goatherds and their flocks. 11’30" Views of a school. Pupils singing in Medersa. 13’10" Views of a graveyard. 15’40" Views of preparations for a group wedding and of the actual ceremony. 21’05" General view of the roofs of Mzab. Views of children playing in the street. 22’45" Interior and exterior views of houses in Mzab. 27’05" View of a group of men praying at sunset on the roof of a mosque. 28’50" View of the irrigation system near Mzab (donkey pulling water, dikes, canals...). 32’45" Various views of a fertility rite for palm trees. 39’00’’ Views of modern life in Mzab (traffic, modern buildings, textile factory). 42’00" The village chief pleads for the purity of faith in the context of the modern world. 44’40" Views of a group of men singing by a graveside and praying in a mosque. Credits (voice off over pictures of the desert). 47’30"
(Source: Jef Cornelis 1964 - 1990, Espace Art Contemporain : Maison de la culture et de la Communication de Saint-Etienne, 1991)

Directed by Cornelis, Jef
Scenario Bekaert, Geert
Voice Keyman, Alwin
Mixing Magnus, Ugo
Editing Malfliet, Gust
Editing at Studio Reusens
Voice Prinsen, Ugo
Camera van Rooy, Guido
Sound recording; music selection and editing Verlinden, Pieter
Producer Puttemans, Frans
Produced by BRT
Production manager Verhaeghe, Jerome