French civilization in the desert. Saganne is of peasant stock, with courage and a forceful will. In 1911, he volunteers and is posted to the Sahara under the aristocratic Colonel Dubreuilh... See full summary »
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Samuel Le Bihan
French civilization in the desert. Saganne is of peasant stock, with courage and a forceful will. In 1911, he volunteers and is posted to the Sahara under the aristocratic Colonel Dubreuilh. He catches the eye of Madeline, the daughter of the regional administrator. In the desert, Saganne is a leader, with the respect of Arabs, including Amajan, an independent warrior. After resourceful campaigns, Saganne goes on a diplomatic mission to Paris, where he has an affair with a journalist. Back in Africa, he leads a gallant defense against Sultan Omar, is awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, and marries Madeline. Then the Great War puts at risk his success and happiness. Written by
This has to be one of my favorite films, sweeping desert scenes, the desert, always the desert. The Compagnies Sahariennes Mehariste in all their glory, battles, last stands, the French officer Saganne easily coming to terms with the harsh desert, later rather unsettled living without it. This is also autobiographical, as mentioned in "France Soldiers And Africa". The loyalty of the native troops is noticeable throughout. The meeting with the looper Capt. Baculard in the depths of the desert is memorable.... Watch out for the the ever dependable NCO Embarek, and his love of the "Aluette" song.. Desert. Colour. Forts, abound, I was not expecting the sweeping movie it is. This could well be the "Far Pavillions" of the French Africa. Look out for Saganne in the hell of the early Western Front, going to the wall map and laying his hand on his beloved West Africa. It is fitting the last scenes are of the desert. I felt drained after letting this film wash over, and carry me along French Colonial West Africa........ This movie is a French love letter to Africa........
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