You think your job is tough? Try this one. In this very early documentary from 1925 — made in extremely harsh photographic conditions — two pioneering filmmakers (who went on to make King Kong) follow 50,000 Bakhtiari nomads as they set off on their annual hundred mile migration from the desert lowlands of Iraq over the snowy Zagros mountains into roadless pastures in Iran while driving 500,000 (!!) goats, sheep and horses. Instead of riding on the backs of donkeys, small children will haul ailing donkeys *on their backs* as they scale cliffs, cross glaciers barefoot, or ford immense white water rivers with goatskin floats. And then 6 months later they return to complete this unbelievable feat of endurance again. It’s an eye-witness glimpse of a truly nomadic lifestyle which forms the archetypes of the Bible and the mid-east today, and of mind-boggling hardship. Like Nanook of the North, this rarely seen movie is the both the first and the last photographic capture of this distant world.
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
1925, 71 min.
Directed by Merian Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack
Read more about the film at Wikipedia
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Available from Amazon