Αγώνας
The looting of the kingdom of Saba
FRANCE, 2006, 50'
  by AGON - Thursday, 14 May 2015

In northern Yemen there is a deserted region called Jawf. Partly controlled by the central government, it is extremely dangerous as the local government, it is extremely dangerous as the local tribes supported by international networks of antiquities traffickers are plundering its pro-Islamic remains.
A French-Yemenian archaeological mission was organised in 2006, in order to excavate a 2000 years old temple of the pre-Christian period and set up a map with the most important sites in danger. But local authorities realised that this would mean the end of their activities, which is their only source of income, and expressed their opposition despite an order of the Yemen president.
The film crew managed to reach the forbidden area without the scientists and broadcasted images that witness a large-scale cultural destruction. After some days and many adventures, quarrels between tribes almost caused open confrontation and the army had to come to rescue the team from a place where disagreements are usually settled by the use of Kalashnikovs.
As for the archaeologists who stayed back in Sana, they still hope that one day there will be an agreement between the tribes and the government that will allow excavations in these unknown areas in order to understand the origins of the kingdom of Saba and the civilisation of Yemen.


Director: KOREL PROKOP
Producer: CONSTANCE FILMS, AMIP, ARTE FRANCE