Sunday, December 11, 2011


We don't often get to watch epic films set in exotic locations, but this December (in US, November in Europe) will bring us a chance to watch one such movie - BLACK GOLD, lavish Arabian drama telling the story of the birth of modern Arabian kingdom. The film is directed by famous French director Jean Jacques Annaud famous for ENEMY AT THE GATES, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, THE NAME OF THE ROSE...

The story starts with victorious Nesib (Antonio Banderas), Emir of Hobeika, who lays down his peace terms to his rival Amar (Mark Strong), Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow
Belt. In return, Nesib will adopt Amar’s two boys Saleeh (Akin Gazi) and Auda (Tahar Rahim) as a guarantee that neither man can invade the other.
Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men alongside Nesib's daughter princess Leyla who will later on share love with prince Auda. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for
books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination.
Nesib immediately imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt.
The stage is now set for an epic showdown for control of the Yellow Belt, for control of the two kingdoms, for control of the future. The film then focuses on prince Auda who becomes a warrior who fights to unite the warring desert tribes. Torn between two fathers and
two kingdoms, he is joined in his quest for a better future by the beautiful Princess Leyla through a love that began in their childhood. Together with Prince Auda, she will come to represent the new Arab world: young, dynamic and hungry for progress.

The story of the film is based on the book "Black Thirst" by Hans Ruesch. With the budget of $55 million BLACK GOLD is the
most expensive movie related to Arabia ever since famous LAWRENCE OF ARABIA from 1962. The first reviews praise the performances by Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong and Akin Gazi, while Freida Pinto, as usually, got bad critics which state that she is again being expressionless and cold. The music in the film is composed by famous James Horner who already worked with Annaud on THE NAME OF THE ROSE and on ENEMY AT THE GATES. It is interesting that the film wasn't shot in Arabia but in Qatar and Tunisia.


  1. Black Gold seems amazing! :D

  2. Sounds like it will be an epic one along the lines of braveheart or the like. Should definitely be worth a watch.

  3. @Pat
    epic indeed, and the cast seems great too!

  4. Looks good. I was thinking epic more in the way of Hidalgo.

    I like seeing Antonio Bandares play a role that doesn't require him to be sexy. This movie should show his more versatil talents.

    Not that I will mind if they show him with his shirt off, all sweaty and . .


  5. It looks interesting but not my kind of thing I'm afraid.

  6. budget of $55 million for BLACK GOLD that's so big

  7. It's been a while since we last heard from Antonio. Hope it's a good movie.

  8. This looks very powerful and interesting. I have always been fascinated with the Middle East and how the countries came to be. Greed and the thirst for power ruined so much. We're all paying for it in some way or other and some more than others. Brilliant spotlight, I cannot wait to see this.

  9. Could be a good one. I do like Antonio Banderrrras << you have to roll those "r's". :P

    And shame of all shame -- do you know I've never seen Lawrence of Arabia!

  10. Nothing will ever replace Lawrence of Arabia in my heart.

  11. I'd love to see Black Gold.

    Like L.G., I haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia. I'd like to compare the two once I watch both.

  12. @Donnzie
    hehe not sure he would show off his pecs in this one :) As far as I got it he plays a negative guy in this one :)

    glad you think so

    sorry to hear that

  13. @Peeps
    yep, it's a high budget for a foreign production

    actually, he was quite present in the media this summer due to the premiere of PUSS IN BOOTS :)

  14. @Melsy
    not ruined, but still ruining :(( It is so difficult living in these hard times. Most people in the West are not aware of that in the true extent like us in less powerful countries. The crises is really horrid and you have poor people suffering due to greed of others :(

    no worries, sister, I've never seen it either :)

  15. @Debs
    spoken like a true fan ;)

    I haven't seen it either :) Classics are almost never aired in my country and are not released on DVD, so I've never seen it.

  16. Never heard of it. I like Antonio Banderas though. And voted for the awards last week when I saw the announcement on Alex's blog.

  17. @Diane
    glad to hear that, my dear

    glad you like it!

  18. Mark Strong, Antonio Banderas, and eye candy Frieda Pinto? I'm there. Plus, the plot looks fantastic. Thanks for the heads up! Definitely checking this one out.

  19. The trailer looks interesting...but I never really into movies about Arabia, unless if it was about my Prophet. I'll read more reviews before I decide to watch or not to watch it

  20. @Hufstader
    it's a nice cast, isn't it? I especially like MArk Strong in this one, which is interesting since I wasn't his fan before.

    I don't think this one will be religious , which is a great thing if you ask me.

  21. Nothing can better a classic like Lawrence of Arabia but I'm thinking this latest film will be quite different. The real story of how modern Saudi Arabia came into being (involving modern day Jordan and Iraq) would be even more amazing - but it'll never be made. The historical and religious legacy of that debacle is one of the reasons this wasn't filmed in Saudi (the other being the despicable Wahabis who run the joint!) I'm inclined to think the best thing about this one may be looking forward to see what Banderas does!

  22. yep, Doc, the public in Arabia is divided about this one. Some like it, some not. I share your feelings about Wahabis and all other extremists around the world. My country has felt their wrath more than any other country in the world :(