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|Date||Wednesday May 19|
|Time||7:30 PM - 9:30 PM|
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390 27th Street
midtown Oakland, between Telegraph and Broadway
Film evenings begin with optional potluck refreshments and social hour at 6:30 pm,
followed by the film at 7:30 pm, followed by a discussion after the film.
The Prince who Contemplated his Soul
By Nacer Khemir
A visual poem of incomparable beauty, this masterpiece begins with the story of a blind dervish, Bab’Aziz, and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they trek across the Arabian desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every 30 years. With no clear road, path, or compass, Bab’Aziz uses his nomadic dervish instincts to guide them in the right direction. A dervish is a person who chooses to enter a world of poverty and love and who abandons society to wander the desert. To keep Ishtar entertained, Bab’Aziz relays Sufi tales from generations past. Most compelling is the ancient story of a handsome prince who relinquished his realm in order to remain next to a small pool in the desert, staring into its depths while contemplating his soul. This prince had become intrigued by the image of a lone gazelle in the desert. He jumps on his beautifully plumed horse and gives chase. However, the gazelle is more agile and faster than the horse, and soon leads the prince further into the desert. Miraculously, the horse finds its way back to the palace without its master. After a short time, a wandering dervish finds the despairing prince in the desert, transfixed on his reflection in a pool of water. He wishes to be left alone with his reflections. After many moons of contemplating his reflection, he realizes his true nature and adopts the life of a dervish. As this take unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own.
Filled with magnificent images and wonderful music, this breathtaking film is a fairytale-like story of longing and belonging, filmed in the enchanting and ever-shifting sandscapes of Tunisia and Iran. All of Nacer Khemir’s narratives stress the value of true introspection, as opposed to self-absorption, and convey a sense of cultural continuity.
Wheelchair accessible around the corner at 411 28th Street
$5 donations are accepted