Historical - Development 2020

The high adventure story of a desert tribesman from the Pirate Coast, today known as the United Arab Emirates. Spanning the last 85 years of the region’s evolution, this story captures the struggles and triumphs of three Bedouin generations, told as an epic saga.

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • Historical, Action/Adventure, Epic
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Writer(s)
    • Karl HAUPT
    • Producer(s)
    • Karl HAUPT (Expressionist Film Company, Ltd.), Mark FORSTATER (Irregular Features, Ltd.)
    • Synopsis
    • The 1920ies. Khalid grows up in a desert oasis village, where life is a constant struggle marked by date harvest failures, sand storms and locust swarms. Coming of age, Khalid marries a young tribeswoman, Mariam, and, for the first time during the tribe’s annual trek to the sea coast, he joins his fellow tribesmen as a pearl diver. One night his diving ship is attacked by pirates, Khalid is kidnapped. Only after the pirate ship is hunted down by a British battle cruiser and shot to pieces, Khalid can finally get away. Washed up on a deserted coastline, Khalid needs to transverse the rugged Hajar Mountains, where he is captured by a mysterious Omani mountain tribe and is forced to work for them.
      The 1940ies. In meanwhile in the oasis village, Mariam has raised her son Saqr, who grows up to be an aide to a British intelligence officer, Gareth, who flies reconnaissance missions over the larger region for the British forces. Saqr is always along on these flights as a reliable scout. Back in the Hajar Mountains, Khalid finally escapes from the Omani tribe, but only to fall into the hands of one of many raiding parties in the desert; a prelude to larger intertribal warfare. As it turns out, the sheikhdoms of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are fighting a tribal proxy war; Khalid is pressed into fighting, he barely survives a major battle in which he is badly wounded. He is only saved by a prize horse, which faithfully carries him to the safety of a British military camp. On the way Khalid has a strange encounter with Gareth and Saqr, who had to land their plane in the desert during a reconnaissance flight, but neither son nor father recognize each other.
      The 1970ies. Khalid, who has finally made it back home, is appointed to represent the village at a pan-tribal conference, in which the United Arab Emirates are proclaimed.
      The 2000s. Khalid's grandson Hadi, takes Khalid, now an old man, for a ride in the desert in his new Land Rover. On top of a dune they set up camp for the night; Khalid realizes he has come to the end of his life cycle as he gazes out at the luminous skyline of the Emirates coastal city in the distance and the millions of stars above.
    • Partners & financing
    • Mark Forstater, Irregular Features, Ltd., London
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Feb 01, 2022
    • End of shooting
    • May 15, 2022