Herat Films: The City of Herat

© Baily
21 minutes / Colour / 1983
Directed by
John Baily

Anthropologist John Baily

Country of production United Kingdom

These videos were edited from seven hours of Super 8 film shot by John Baily during two years of ethnomusicological fieldwork carried out in the Herat region of western Afghanistan between 1973 and 1977. The footage was transferred and edited at the TV Unit of Queen’s University Belfast 1981-82. The non-synchronous sound is a problem at certain moments, but overall the editing has made the best of the image and sound available. All three films have a substantial amount of voice-over commentary. The films are of special interest because of the damage suffered by this region during many years of civil war. (This is the city referred to so poignantly in Baily’s later film Amir.) Using Paul English’s paper ‘The Traditional City of Herat’ as a starting point, The City of Herat sets out to describe systematically the organisation of urban space. The film contrasts the old city and its traditional businesses, against the new city with its modern shops and workshops, and surrounding villages absorbed into the expanding town.

Language and subtitles English (no subtitles)

Region Middle and Near East

Country Afghanistan

Keywords Urban Trade