Djerba, the biblical Island
First broadcast date01/01/1952
AbstractIn the footsteps of a young Jewish who came back to Djerba to say goodbye to his loved ones before attempting the journey on the continent, the director Philippe Este offers a tour of an island where time seems to have stood still two thousand years ago. The young man goes to Hara Kbira, the Jewish quarter of Houmt Souk, where a small community still lives in respect of the oldest customs. But the decay of houses is a reflection of its demise. In a classroom, children learn their prayers. Later in the library of the yeshiva, the future rabbis study and, in one of the thirty synagogues in the neighborhood, the boys unroll the Torah for the departing visitor. Before leaving Djerba, a Jew must participate in the pilgrimage to the Ghriba, which is held each year for three days. The pilgrims gather at the caravansary adjoining the synagogue and go in procession, accompanying the Menorah through the peaceful countryside. Back to the Jewish synagogue, they proceed to an auction of the Menorah ornaments. Bank notes pass from hand to hand, while women light candles and, in a corner, some elderly with antique faces pray. In the countryside, a group of farmers harvest by hand a poor harvest. Further, men with the help of camels carry wheat threshing; an ancient well allows irrigation of orchards.
- The French News - Own production
Primary themeReligious Practices
- Tourism and cultural sites
- Historical heritages / Judaism
Credits / Cast
- Este Philippe - Director
Period of events
- Tunisia - Chotts and desert - Djerba
Media running time12m8
Additional informationThis valuable documentary filmed in Djerba in May 1950 before the invasion by tourists, was presented in the "" shorts "" at Cannes in 1952. " This valuable documentary, filmed in Djerba in May 1950 before the invasion by tourists, was presented in the "short films " category at Cannes in 1952.
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