Bab'Aziz in the Desert | Sufism

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 22:30 PM EDT, 10 January 2012

"A visual poem of incomparable beauty, this masterpiece from director Nacir Khemir; (Searchers of the Desert) begins with the story of a blind dervish named Bab'Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years. With faith as their only guide, the two journey for days through the expansive, barren landscape. To keep Ishtar entertained, Bab'Aziz relays the ancient tale of a 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.


As the tale of the prince unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own--including Osman, who longs for the beautiful woman he met at the bottom of a well, and Zaid, who searches for the ravishing young woman who fled from him after being seduced by his songs. Filled with breathtaking images and wonderful music, Nacir Khemir has created a fairytale-like story of longing and belonging, filmed in the enchanting and ever-shifting sandscapes of Tunisia and Iran.

Director Nacir Khemir’s past cinematic achievements include his award-winning features Les Baliseurs du Désert (Wanderers of the Desert), awarded Grand Prix of the Festival des Trois Continents in 1984, and Le Collier Perdu de la Colombe (The Dove’s Lost Necklace), which won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno in 1991. The script was written by Nacir Khemir with the participation of screenwriter Tonino Guerra (Amarcord, Night of the Shooting Stars, Blowup and L’Avventura)." (Source:  Typecast Releasing)

This is a wonderfully enchanting tale worthy of contemplation and rumination.  It is an inspirational story of a spiritual journey, one which we should all should strive to imitate.  We may not have the benefit of the vastness of the desert sands and sky; but we must endeavor to find a space inside our hearts in which to meditate on the joys of life.

As we continue on our peregrinations, we must remember to positively impact every person we interact with, to leave every situation better than we encountered it, and to be gentle with ourselves and forgiving of our humanness.

From time to time we must stop and remember to "listen for messages from our heart - messages  we may have been ignoring since childhood.  Next, we must take the daring, risky step of expressing our heart in the outside world...As we learn to live by heart, every choice we make will become another way of telling our story...It is the way we were meant to exist.  If we stop to listen, we'll realize that our heart has been telling us all along. ~ Martha Beck