Yemen Travelogue – Days at Shibam and Seiyun

Video, 160 minutes, digiBeta, 16:9, colour, stereo

I am drunk of the cup of love
Mevlana Jelalu–'d–Din, Muhammed, Er–Rumi (1207–1273)

In April 2006, my friend Nikolaus Scholz and I flew to Sana'a, the capital of the Republic of Yemen, and traveled to Shibam, the legendary mud-brick skyscraper city, the ancient „Manhattan of the Desert“. Following an invitation of a German development cooperation program, Nikolaus was producing a CD – Jewel of the Valley–, featuring music played by the Shibam District Music and Traditional Arts Ensemble, a group of about 20 musicians. As usual, I filmed whatever caught my eye. It's a very personal travel journal, and despite these enchanting sites, it lets you forget about where you are. A film for meditation. Even though I'm capturing the light, people, und things, it is my way of looking at them that makes itself clear and invites viewers to look at themselves and become aware of their point of view, the subjective nature of perception.

Michael Pilz, Vienna, January 2009

Original title Yemen Travelogue – Days at Shibam and Seiyun
English title Yemen Travelogue – Days at Shibam and Seiyun
Produced by Michael Pilz
Shooting time 16–24 April, 2006
Shooting locations Shibam, Sejyun, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen
Cinematography by Michael Pilz
Additional camerawork by Sari Hallaj
Edited by Michael Pilz
Featuring Nikolaus Scholz, Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, Cynthis Stewart Hallaj, Sari Hallaj, Jadd Hallaj, The Shibam District Music and Traditional Arts Ensemble, Soubait al–Shathiri, Martin Lakinson, Ali Harbi, Jamal Jaber, the people of Shibam, Seiyun and Sana'a
Music by The Shibam District Music and Traditional Arts Ensemble, the singer Soubait al–Shathiri & anonymous
Food catering by al–Jazeera restaurant, Seiyun
Original language English, Arabic
Sound mix by Michael Pilz
No subtitles

Austria 2008

Financial support innovative film austria, federal arts, bm:uk and Kultur Niederösterreich

Thanks to Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj and The Yemeni–German Shibam Urban Development Project SUDP/GTZ, The Shibam District Music and Traditional Arts Ensemble, Mohamed Baswateen, Director of Cultur/District of Shibam, Nikolaus Scholz

First public screening First version Vienna, Austrian Filmmuseum, 22 November, 2008
Second version Graz, Diagonale, Festival of Austrian film, March 2009

Festivals, specials First version, Vienna, Austrian Filmmuseum, Retrospective Michael Pilz, 14–30 November, 2008
Second version, Graz, Diagonale, Festival of Austrian film, March, 2009
Rotterdam (NL), Lisboa

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