“The Prince of the Desert” by Jean-Jacques Annaud

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the first “epic” films set in Qatar. “The Prince of the Desert” takes us to the beginning of the 20th with the discovery of the first oil wells in the Qatari Peninsula.

The prince of the Desert

At the beginning of the twentieth century, two sultans barely challenged each other in battle, the winner, Emir Nesib, dictating the conditions for a respite to his rival Amar. Neither of them will ever be able to advance rights on the land called “The Yellow Stripe”, moreover, according to the custom Nesib will adopt the two sons of Amar, Saleeh and Auda, keeping them with them as a guarantee of their agreement.

Now grown, Saleeh has become a warrior eager to reunite with his real father, while Auda is only interested in studying. One day a Texan oilman informs Nesib that his territory is rich in oil, but the dreams of the emir, of a bright future for his reign, are broken when he realizes that the oil lies right on the Yellow Strip. After Saleeh is killed in an attempt to escape to reunite his father, Nesib organizes a wedding between Auda and his daughter, Princess Leyla.

The prince of the Desert
Riz Ahmed and Tahar Rahim

Although marriage has political connotations, the love between the two young people is a pure love, born from childhood. When Auda meets his real father, Amar, he manages to give a new meaning to his life, abandoning books and becoming a charismatic leader in the epic battle for control of the “Yellow Stripe” between the two kingdoms.

An epic film

The film is a sort of “Lawrence of Qatariot Arabia“, the English film takes up the clashes in the Arabian Peninsula and the epic always present but the historical context is even more interesting. In fact, many times we are surprised how these Gulf countries have gone from being “religious history” to “economic present” within a few years, in the film we find the answer to our questions. The film also enjoys excellent participation such as: Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed and the very Italian Adriano Giannini. The scenography is also spectacular and with attention to every detail, truly a sight for the eyes.

The prince of the Desert
Mark Strong

If you are looking for an epic film, light and set in the desert, this is the film for you. Furthermore, the historical context for lovers of the region will be something capable of making the film even more appreciated.

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