Desert Phantoms

ballad

Typology

feature

Lenght

long

Czech title

Přeludy pouště

Runtime

105 min

Country

Czechoslovakia, Tunisia

Copyright

1982

Production year

1982

Premiere

26.11.1982

Language version

Czech

Director

Abdelhafidh Bouassida

Summary

Graduates of the international study programmes run by Prague film school FAMU have over the decades often taken part in co-production projects. This proved the case where Tunisian director Abdelhafidh Bouassida was concerned. In 1982, he created balladic romance Přeludy pouště (Desert Phantoms). The film, inspired by stories of the Orient, was a Tunisian co-production made with Prague’s Barrandov film studios and Czechoslovakia’s Krátký film (established as far back as 1957). The protagonist, the penurious young man Mamlúk (Yorgo Voyagis), saves the life of a mighty ruler. As a reward, the pauper simply asks for a plot of land on which he might farm with his family. The ruler promises Mamlúk all the land he can cover by foot in a single day. But acquisitive people around him force the young man on to a march of death. He loses everything, including, eventually, his own life… Besides the exotic narration, the main attraction of the film lies in the cast of Tunisian and Czech actors, who were joined by an international star of Greek origin, Irene Papas, who took the role of the hero’s mother.

Synopsis

The ruler of a country hunts a fox with his trained eagle amidst a sandy wasteland. On his return home, he and his horse tumble into a wolf trap. His life is saved by a poor young man named Mamlúk who is camping nearby with his mother. The ruler is very suspicious and takes the poor food only after it has been tasted by Mamlúk first. But Mamlúk is an honest man and he takes the saved man to the town in the morning. He refuses golden coins, just asking for a piece of land which could provide for his family. The ruler offers him a beautiful girl, a horse, a position of a guard commander or a tax collector, but the young man rejects everything. The ruler does not understand the poor man's conception of happiness and, only barely concealing that he takes it amiss, finally offers him all the land which Mamlúk can walk around from morning to sunset. The young man is accompanied by a vizier and black riders staking out the estate with spears with ribands. Mamlúk could get by with only a little bit of land but the vizier drives him further, claiming that such a small reward would offend the ruler. The news spreads and more and more villagers beg the young man to include them, too, in his territory. Mamlúk is running out of strength under the red-hot sun. He looks for his beloved Fatima on a farm, but in vain because the administrator has already sold her somewhere else. The time has gone by and the man, in order to come back in time, sets off across a lethal salt lake. He dreams about Fatima, about water, about being trapped and then saved by his mother – but he in fact lies in the middle of a desert, dying.

Cast

Yorgo Voyagis

Mamlúk

Bekim Fehmiu

vladař

Irene Papas

Mamlúkova matka

Jozef Kroner

Sidi Ali

Juraj Kukura

statkář

Ahmed Snoussi

Abdelmalak

Hassan Hermes

kovář Júsef

Ferhad Jedid

Ibrahím

Jiří Kulštrunk

sokolník

Mouna Noureddine

Fatima

Abdellatif Hamrouni

Hádí

Rachid Gara

Saláh Rahmouni

Mohamed Ben Othman

Abdellatif Khereddine

Mohiedine Mrad

Moncef Bel Hadj Yahia

Abdelmajid Lakhal

Fethi Saadallah

Tayeb Weslaty

Jamil Joudi

Mohsen Zaazaa

Salah Sghaier

Halima Daoud

Salah Miled

Hattab Dhib

Salem Touhami

Noureddine Kasbaoui

Commentary

Dubbing

Alois Švehlík

hlas Mamlúka

Karel Hlušička

hlas vladaře

Jaroslava Adamová

hlas Mamlúkovy matky

Jiří Holý

hlas Sidi Aliho

Radoslav Brzobohatý

hlas statkáře

Petr Přívozník

hlas Abdelmalaka

Milan Mach

hlas Hádího

Jan Kraus

hlas vesničana

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Mohamed Alí Okby

Assistant Director

Milan Kadlec, Irena Vachatová, Mounir Baazíz

Second Unit Photography

Vladimír Smutný

Camera Operator

Jan Hanzal

Production Designer

Hassen Soufi

Set Designer

Jazzi Aderrazak, Claude Ghil‡me, Eva Slívová, Karel Vaňásek

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Alois Fišárek

Sound Designer

Adolf Böhm

Stunts

Karel Brůha, Jiří Mayer, Petr Turek

Unit Production Manager

Hafidha Ouertani, Hamíd Elleuche, Vladimíra Kopecká, Jana Kejlová, Petr Junek, Věra Lukášová

Unit Production Manager

Eva Nováková, Helena Landovská

Cooperation

Ivana Malíková, Zdenek Sirový, Eva Pobjecká, Jiří Berger, S. Abdellah, K. Mamlouk, Jaroslav Trousil, Y. Lakhoua, S. Joulak, A. Ben Ali, H. Joulak, S. Maaroufi

Music

Music Composed by

Armando Trovajoli

Production info

Original Title

Přeludy pouště

English Title

Desert Phantoms

Working Title

Balada o bezzemku Mehmedovi

Parallel Title

Sarâb

Category

film

Typology

feature

Genre

ballad

Origin country

Czechoslovakia, Tunisia

Copyright

1982

Production Year

1982

Premiere

26.11.1982

Creative Group

Ota Hofman

Technical info

Lenght

long

Runtime

105 min

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 6. mezinárodní festival filmů pro děti a mládež Tomar

1985
Tomar / Portugal