21 November, 2014

Socotra: The Hidden Land ~ Filmmaker Uncovers The Exotic 'Lost World' Island.......

Socotra: The Hidden Land
A new documentary is lifting the veil on one of the most exotic travel destinations that very few people know exists: Socotra. "Socotra: The Hidden Land" offers a revealing look at the remote island’s stunning landscapes and its people, whose ancient beliefs and lifestyles are under threat as they embrace modern practices and technology. With hundreds of endemic plants and animals the four-island archipelago of Socotra, a part of Hadhramout, has been dubbed the Galapagos Islands of the Indian Ocean and one of the most alien landscapes on Earth.

Socotra: The Hidden Land
Socotra survives the encroachment of modernity at a cultural crossroads of Arab, African and many other influences that have left their mark on the past, undimmed by the passing of time. Magic and reality are realized through rituals and fantastic myths which inspire the Western world: from the Jinn (spirits) to the Makoles (healers), and above them all, the Mythical Phoenix, symbol of renewal and resurrection, whose nest is found, according to legend, high up in the rugged mountains of Socotra. Nomads, gatherers of incense, fishermen… Although the inhabitants live virtually isolated from modern society, and subsist with very few resources, they have great spiritual and cultural wealth. The film shows a society that lived, until a few years ago, totally separate from the globalized modern world, and which, today, is witnessing the transformation of its culture and the disappearance of its most ancient traditions: the influence of capitalism is creating new needs among the population, which had always lived without money; overfishing by international companies has led to the Islanders having to emigrate in search of work; climate change is endangering the unique ecosystem and Islam is gaining ground in a society that is slowing abandoning its own ceremonies and customs.
The documentary, directed and produced by Carles Cardelus, exposes the islanders’ lives and customs as they struggle to preserve centuries-old traditions. He tells the island’s story through its shepherds, fishermen, traditional healers and imam. Mr Cardelus, who is in London for a screening of Socotra: The Hidden Land at the UK Film Festival, says on Soqotra: ‘They have ancestral cultures and they are now very focused on the influence of modern ideas. A few years ago fishermen never used money because they shared the fish. Capitalism is going there and this is changing their culture very fast. The landscape and all the environment is amazing. It’s like time was stopped.

+ Socotra: The Hidden Land
+ The Daily Mail