Skip to content

directors’ notes


The wanderer asks: “How can I grasp your vastness?” The desert answers: “Expand your horizon.”

The wanderer asks: “How can I cope with your silence?” The desert answers: “Listen to your heart.”

(10th century folk wisdom, China)


“Just shoot in ‘scope and let the story do the talking.”

(20th Century Fox wisdom, Hollywood)


As a filmmaker in the desert, one is confronted with a classical paradox: how to get the sand into the picture while, at the same time, keeping it out of the camera. That, of course, is merely the technical side; capturing the essence of the desert is yet another story.

When we wrote the script in the very sands of the Sinai Desert, we quickly came to realize that our greatest foe could become our greatest ally. Every time we got stuck, we would set out for a walk around the mountain only to return with the problem solved. The desert is a great teacher when it comes to making the most out of nothing. By allowing for no mistakes, it teaches us to simply do the right thing. Thirsty? Find water. Cold? Build a fire. Met your enemy? Make him your friend…

If there’s no way to cut the Gordian knot of our dualistic existence, why not just try to join the loose ends? A ship in the desert, a man in white and a man in black, the clash of civilizations in a nutshell, an intimate play in a landscape of literally biblical proportions, a comedy about religion…

A sandstorm in a teapot? – Perhaps.