Series: Nomaden

Shadows of the Desert


A film by Bettina Haasen
© 2006 / 43 min (German+French) and 52 min (English) / Digi Beta / 16:9 / Stereo

Once a year, after the harvest of wheat in Timia´s oasis, situated in the Aïr Mountains, is done, the Kel Ewey who are a subgroup of the Tuareg nomads will traverse the merciless Ténére desert. Almost 600 km lie between Bilma and the paradise-like gardens of Timia. Bilma´s salt constituted a very important trading article at all times. Camel-Caravans carry the salt from Bilma to Agadez and from there further southward to Nigeria.

The protagonist of this documentary is Cibrilla, a 12 year old boy of the Tuareg clan. He will for the first time be a member of the caravan, entrusted in the care of the experienced guide “Madugu” Adoua. Cibrilla lives in a Nomad Camp nearby the oasis of Timia. His father as well as his grandfather have been part of a caravan several times, but now, Cibrilla´s father has grown too old and therefore decided for his son to go on with this tradition. However, in order to be accepted by the caravan members, Cibrilla has to pass several trials of courage: Only those can become members of the caravan who are able to express solidarity with the group and who are not afraid of hunger nor thirst nor the omnipresent fatigue. The journey through the desert is long and the nights are bitterly cold.

Awards and Festivals:
Honorable Mention at the International Mountain Film Festival Graz 2006



Written and directed by Bettina Haasen
Cinematography: Alexander Hein
Sound: Ralph Wilhelm
Editing: Verena Schönauer
Soundmix: Hans R. Weiss
Music: Ludwig Eckmann, Winfried Zrenner
Production Manager: Markus Breimaier
Production Assistent: Anna Brass
Producer: Thomas Wartmann
Commissioning editors: Ulrike Becker, SWR, and Gabriele Conze, WDR

A coproduction of Filmquadrat, Südwestrundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk
in collaboration with ARTE.


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