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Title:MESOPOTAMIA - BAGHDAD AND RIVER SCENES [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 77
Summary: Everyday life in Mesopotamia under the British occupation, 1918.
Description: (Reel 1) The film's only caption, "Indian troops marching through Baghdad". They are wearing winter clothing. A British horse-drawn fire-engine leaves for a (staged ?) emergency. On the river there are light canoes, known as 'ballams', and larger craft. In the streets is mule transport. Lieutenant-General Sir W R Marshall, the commander of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, rides through the city with his aides. Captured Turks are brought in on a river transport craft. Other craft on the river, between scenes of the streets, include a Fly Class gunboat. Marsh-dwellers sell eggs to a passing riverboat. (Reel 2) Further up the river is a village and a pontoon bridge. More street scenes are shown. The cameraman's car stuck in the mud on the road outside the city. The Turkish memorials to their dead at Kut al Amara, and the remains of the liquorice factory. (Reel 3) The River Tigris at Qurna, taken from a boat which moves downstream, past a pontoon bridge, and past a swing bridge, 'the MacMunn bridge'. Indian troops, members of the Egyptian Labour Corps and local workers help unload stores from a ship and are given gifts from British officers at the Baghdad Depot of the Women's Branch, Bombay Presidency War and Relief Fund. A British soldier trims the beard of a grizzled Arab with clippers. The outside of the Baghdad Station Library, part of the War Gifts Depot.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
International Film Service (Production company)
Varges, Ariel L (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Marshall, William R (person)
British Army, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
Indian Army, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
British Army, Egyptian Labour Corps (regiment/service)
Bombay Presidency War Relief Fund, Women's Branch (regiment/service)
Royal Navy (regiment/service)
Keywords: operations, Indian military - movement: march (object name)
transport, British military - animal special: fire engine (object name)
destruction, Mesopotamian: fire (object name)
ships, Mesopotamian civilian - inland: ballam (object name)
prisoners of war, Turkish - movement (object name)
ships, British naval - light forces: Fly Class (object name)
society, Mesopotamian - ethnic (object name)
buildings, Turkish - monumental: war memorial (object name)
buildings, Turkish - commercial: liquorice factory & [wrecked] (object name)
buildings, Mesopotamian - institutional: library (object name)
society, British military - hygiene (object name)
society, Mesopotamian - hygiene (object name)
Turkey & Baghdad, Mesopotamia <library & station> (geography)
Turkey & Kut al Amara, Mesopotamia (geography)
Turkey & Tigris River, Mesopotamia (geography)
Turkey & Qurna, Mesopotamia (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: None
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 3010 ft; Running time: 51 mins
Notes: Title: this is taken from the shotsheet.
Production: although bearing no definite signs either way, it is possible that this film is not a wartime official production, but one of the post-war compilations made by Jury from official material as part of his reward for controlling wartime film production.
Summary: see also IWM 78.