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Title:WITH THE FORCES IN MESOPOTAMIA - SERIES 6 [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 65
Summary: British film of the inhabitants of the River Tigris shoreline from Basra to Kut al Amara, mostly filmed from a moving boat, 1918 (?).
Description: I (Reel 1) The opening is filmed from the river. First, Ezra's Tomb, a landmark at Qurna, about 200 km down river from Kut, followed by Qurna itself. The boat continues downstream, passing several smaller craft, known as 'ballams', Hospital Paddle Steamer 5, a high-sterned yawl or 'mahaila', and finally passes into the port of Basra. At the Inland Water Transport yard a small ship rests on a slipway, ballams move in Khandar creek (?), a helmeted diver is at work, so is a dredger, and an Insect Class gunboat is on patrol. II. (Reel 2) The remaining scenes are mainly on land. British Military Police control a pontoon footbridge, probably over the Tigris at Basra. Marsh Arabs follow the boat as it moves, trying to sell eggs and fowl. In the market place at Baghdad, Zahroam of Amara, the silversmith known to the troops as 'the silver identity-disk man', works with his tiny furnace. At the Base Ordnance Depot in the city refugee women work sewing. III. The film ends with scenes of Kut al Amara after its capture by the British, showing the remains of the liquorice factory, Indian labourers leaving work, and two Turkish memorials to their dead.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
International Film Service (Production company)
Varges, Ariel L (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Zahroam of Amara (person)
British Army, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Military Police (regiment/service)
Royal Navy (regiment/service)