53414 ” OIL AND SUDDEN WEALTH ” 1970s MIDDLE EAST / ARABIAN GULF OPEC NATIONS DOCUMENTARY

This 1979 documentary from Coronet Films looks at the development of the Middle East’s Gulf countries due to the sudden wealth the oil industry created for these nations. The film begins with aerial footage of the Gulf (Arabian/Persian Gulf). Viewers see oil wells burning at night (00:54), men moving through an open-air market, and fishermen pulling their nets onto a beach. A man herds camels; he is shown milking one of the animals (02:22). A woman and her son ride a donkey as the daughter walks behind them (02:32). The film shows a mosque in Saudi Arabia (02:57) and Saudi streets filled with cars and pedestrians. Viewers see the construction of new buildings. Aerial views give a look at some of the recently built cities in the Gulf (03:57). Men build a highway in the desert near Abu Dhabi (04:35). Men lay pipelines to carry oil from the wells. Oil workers set up a drill at a well. An aerial view shows oil tankers in the Gulf (06:07); their massive size required the Gulf countries to build new, larger ports. A new port is built in Dubai (07:04). Pakistani laborers ride boats to work. Foreign workers line up outside of a post office to send their earnings back to their home. A freight barge brings in construction supplies and equipment (08:27). A car is lowered by crane from a freighter. Another aerial view shows oil rigs in what appears to be relatively shallow water. Footage shows men working on an oil rig. A helicopter takes off from one of the rigs. A Kuwait TV station films a ceremony for the cleaning of a beach. Viewers see the newly built hospitals in the Gulf and some of the patients in these hospitals. Boys play basketball at a modern school in Saudi Arabia (11:35). In an Iranian classroom (presumably in Tehran), girls and boys study English. Bedouin in Kuwait are settled in government-built housing (13:52). Men in Abu Dhabi water a garden (14:35), which is made possible from the investments in water desalination. In Iran, men spray oil on desert sand dunes to prevent the sand from being blown onto farmland and to allow vegetation growth to occur and stop wind erosion of the dunes (15:12). The film shows a dam in Iran, a shot of Egypt’s Sinai following the war with Israel (16:48), and various shots of Gulf nations’ banks and oil refineries. Viewers see a foundry (17:45) and an automobile assembly plant. A man harvests caviar from a sturgeon on the Caspian Sea. The film shows more new buildings in the Gulf countries, people swimming in a pool; the construction of new buildings around a fountain, and Tehran’s Azadi Tower (20:01). The film concludes with a scene of two little girls walking barefoot on the sand followed by several men walking near a mosque, and then a solitary man rolling out his rug in a field for prayer.

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