Tunisia – Mirage between Desert and Ocean


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Tunisia: Many tourists only know the country from a hotel deckchair, or adventures on the beach. But the beaches are just the golden border to this radiant country. The country offers a great variety of landscapes and cultures. The mountain scenery and palm oases, traditions and the modern age, the wide Sahara and the big cities like Tunis, the Berbers’ history in the South and the history of Rome to the North – Tunisia is a small country but it’s worthy of being discovered.


ZDF, 2003
Length: 43 minutes
Written and directed by: Eike Schmitz
Camera: Manfred Pelz
Editor: Vincent Assmann
Production assistant: Susanne Utzt
Commissioning editor: Dagmar Noll
In the series: “Joy of Travel”
German or English version

The southern region of Chott el-Djerid, with its reddish rock, the sand deserts, and salt seas, hosts North Africa’s greatest Desert Festival. Our film team takes part as the predominantly settled Berbers revive their culture, formed by the nomadic life in the Sahara. The festival reaches its climax with the camel marathon. The most famous camel jockeys from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt arrive with their race camels.

From the Oasis of Douz, we set out on an expedition throughout the country. We meet Louhichi, a guide, whose narration brings an extinct Berber fortress, Guermessa, back to life. In the lively capital Tunis, the belly dancer Haifa demonstrates how to live elegantly between tradition and emancipation. We also meet the horse tamer Ali, as well as an eminent leader of a Sufi sect; the painter Sehili Mahmoud, and Hedi, who has returned from a career as a boatman on the river Rhine to take tourists out on his brand new catamaran on trips along the Tunisian coast.