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Other titles:AMATEUR FILM BY MAJOR RONALD SINCLAIR [Alternative Title]
Summary: Travelogue films showing indigenous life in the interwar period, filmed by the British traveller, linguist, spy and author Reginald Teague Jones OBE, who changed his name to Sinclair after his alleged involvement in the massacre of Bolshevik commissars from Baku in the Caucasus in September 1918.
Description: The reel opens with several shots of the Pyramids at Giza, before moving on to some scenes of a modern cemetery close by. Scenes of a religious procession (a Mawlid?) in the vicinity of the pyramids follows; numbers of people follow numerous men on horseback carrying flags and pennants (acquisition file shot list indicates this procession begins in ‘Giza village’ and terminates at the pyramids). Many street scenes in Cairo, with several shots of water-sellers. Remainder of film shot near waterways on the Nile Delta near the town of Shibin el Kom, north of Cairo. Two men draw water from the river with a corkscrew-like manual water wheel; workers till fields; many shots of peasants with heavily laden donkeys proceeding along dusty road (shot list: ‘country folk coming into market in early morning’). A felucca (traditional sailboat); egrets hunting in the shallows; a water buffalo at work, turning a large mechanism (shot list: an ‘ancient water wheel’). Long sequence of peasants and farmers with various beasts of burden (camels, donkeys, etc.), followed by long sequence of donkeys and people passing in silhouette against the sky; a felucca is seen being towed from the bank by several men (‘man-hauled against the current’).
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Notes: NOTES: Shot list indicates a scene apparently missing from the very start of the viewing copy (from the reel also?): ‘Brief shot of Egyptian asleep at street corner – Donkeys carrying loads of sugar cane outside Cairo.’
Catalogue entry by Dr Francis Gooding, AHRC Colonial Film Database 2010.