Al Halqa - The Last Storytellers

DVD-Box with 2 DVDs, 1 MP3-CD,
Booklet and slipcase

The DVD-Box “Al Halqa - The Last Storytellers” consists of 3 Discs, a Booklet and Slipcase.

 

DVD No.1


The first DVD contains the documentary "Al Halqa - In the Storyteller's Circle". On Djemaa El Fna Square in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, Abderahim El Maqori tells tales that he has been collecting in his mind and heart since he was a child. Now that he is growing older, he is trying to teach his son Zoheir the tricks of a dying trade. The camera follows the pair on their journey through Morocco, which is interspersed with stories about ghosts, kings, shoemakers and animals. Zoheir has to learn that making a living as a storyteller requires more than just narrating skills. He needs to master how to gather a Halqa - a circle of spectators - around himself, how to attract their attention and to keep his circle closed until the end of the story.

 

The film is subtitled in different languages  (German, English, French, Spanish). A synchronized German version is also available on the disc.

 

DVD No.2
The square Djemaa El Fna - "hangman's quare" - in Marrakech is a gorgeous space with diverse performances (acrobatics, dance, singing, storytelling, witchcraft and fortune telling) that change daily. It's a patchwork of constantly renewing traditions, which deserve to be declared "Intangible Heritage of Humanity" (UNESCO). Not the square itself, but the knowledge of the orally transmitted tales that have been given on for centuries from generation to generation were declared worthy of protection.
Over the last seven years, in the context of the Al Halqa project, over 200 hours of audio and video footage about the "Hlaiqi" of the Djemaa El Fna square has been recorded. The second DVD contains several portraits of the performing artists on Djemaa El Fna. We will be told why Bouia Omar is able to drink boiling hot water without burning himself. We discover what the "Aissawa" - the brotherhood of snake charmers - are all about. How does the Fkih Soussi manage to work with a djinn and why do all acrobats have to go to the Marabut of Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa? Those and many other stories will be part of the second DVD.
 

No.3 Audio-CD

 

The music tracks are mainly recorder with musicians performing their halqa on Jemaa El Fna square. The recordings for the audio-disc are all made in a studio environment. Some of the tracks have been especially composed for the documentary film "Al Halqa - In the Storyteller's Circle".

Apart from the 21 music tracks, there's one track with a tale called "The Amana". It has been recorded from the storyteller Abdel Fattah and is narrated in English by Terry Martin.

 

 

Price: 39,90 EUR, incl.tax., excl. shipping

 

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For Myself And The Others

Paola Beate von Pückler and Egypt
DVD-Edition of the film institute - University of Arts Berlin

Cinematographic Portrait

 

Views of a vast Andalusian lanscape are the first images that Thomas Ladenburger uses for his cinematographic portrait of Paola Beate von Pückler.

In between the surrounding hills, the seaside appears. Above the horizon waves an idea of Northern Africa. It is here, where the semiotician settled down, milks her coats, talks about her cancer with whom she lives in peace - and the ongoing pleasures of perception: seeing, listening, refliecting, writing - and death.

The openness and curiosity that both filmmaker and protagonist eradiate are astonishing and carry the film. Together, they go on a jouney. The gliding flight of a bird above the andalusian stone huts merge with a swarm of birds abobe the busy capital of Cairo inmidst Ramadan, the islamic fasting month.

 

For Paola Beate von Pückler, Egypt was the country to turn away from her other-directed life as diplomatic wife - fourty years ago. She describes her

Sudden transformation to a „wanderer“, her work and creation on a self-given misson, her hard work to accomodate words and action which is moved by the love of people and landscapes as well as an instinctive recognition of new affiliations.

 

The pyramids rise behind the brick buildings of the periphery – stranger and on the same time more accessible then in any other relation. Both travelers eplore the daily life of the people and fit out a caravan in order to set off to the desert. Under pylons next to the highway they pitch their tents for the night. It is not about leaving the civilisation but to understand it in a different manner.

 

Heinz Emigholz

 

 

 

Extras: Scene Selection, Interview with Louis Soret about the Music in the film

 

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Für mich und die Anderen - Weg sein in Ägypten

from Paola Beate von Pückler
345 pages, paperback, German

The book to the film

 

Reisen in die eigene Fremde... Das Ent-Decken-Wollen menschlicher Brücken zwischen Orient und Okzident in einer Sprache des Herzens, erinnert berührend an die ersten Kurzgeschichten des ägyptischen Literaturnobelpreisträgers Nagib Machfus. Dieses Buch nährt die Hoffnung, nicht nur eine Brücke des Verständnisses, sondern des tieferen Verstehens schaffen zu können. Im Hier und Jetzt. Wie ein arabisches Sprichwort sagt: "Wer in die Ferne reist und zurückkehrt, ohne einen Freund gefunden zu haben, der hat sein Glück verpasst."

 

Ibrahim Rabah

 

 

Price: 15,00 EUR, incl. tax, free shipping (in Germany)

 

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