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also known as The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul


  • 4.6
A visual poem of incomparable beauty, this masterpiece from director Nacer Khemir (the third in the "Desert Trilogy") 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 Nacer Khemir's past cinematic achievements include his award-winning features LES BALISEURS DU DESERT (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 Nacer Khemir with the participation of screenwriter Tonino Guerra (L'AVVENTURA).

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Winner of the "Golden Dagger" for Best Picture at the 2006 Muscat Film Festival.

Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

A beautiful and deeply satisfying work of art. Let the Rationalists disdain the spiritual, but nothing so

stirs the Soul. And existence is richest when lived through Soul, and its' infinite multiplicity.

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top reviewer

A handful of shifting, ephemeral stories of quests begins with a blind dervish and his granddaughter burrowing out from a sandstorm. A gazelle leads a prince to meditate, and a psalmodist sings for his lost lover. A deeply spiritual and mystical epiphany of music, love, dance and color. ‘Oh day, arise! The atoms are dancing.’

"There are as many paths to God as there are souls on earth."

"How can death be the end to something that has no beginning?"

What more can one say?


It was definitely interesting but sometimes it got dragged out a little too much, I think. I would recommend it to others though.

First of all, the girl is at the betrothal age, second of all her face wouldn't be showing. Third of all she wouldn't be talking.

Racist claptrap.

So satisfying, this feast for the soul. It touched me deeply - words don't serve to express its beauty.

A sufi's journey into eternity. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Khemir in Damascus in 2010. We shared our love for Sufism and discussed Ibn Arabi and Rumi on a wonderful afternoon. Mr. Khemir's talent is evident in this film and all his masterpieces. I recommend this film to all who are seeking answers to this life and the one after.

waha la'ila

Truly Loved and enjoyed it

Simply beautiful and magical.