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BETWEEN THE OIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Year: 2006

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 25 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Violeta Ayala

Produced By: Dan Fallshaw, Violeta Ayala

Language: English subtitles

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Set in Mauritania this story follows the investigations of a respected Mauritanian and world renowned mathematician, Dr Yahya Hamidoune. The Professor, as he became known, introduces us to many Mauritanians, from government Ministers through to local people earning less than $1 a day, in his campaign against an Australian company whom he sees as exploiting his country and his people.

Mauritania is presently governed by a transitional military junta. A coup in August 2005 saw the previous president Taya deposed and Colonel Vall replace him.

The story takes many twists and turns as the filmmakers follow the Professor on his mission. They are the first independent foreign filmmakers to visit Mauritania in 28 years. During the investigation, the Professor receives a death threat. In the course of the story, they get lost in the desert under suspicious circumstances without water, running out of petrol and are rescued by a nomadic goat herder. They have their plane tickets stolen and are under continual surveillance.

The film is rich with glimpses of Mauritanian culture - a traditional wedding, the preparation of Mauritanian tea, traditional musicians and a visit to Chinguetti, an ancient town of a previous world.

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