Printed 26/11/2015 4:17pm

Reference number: F28055

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Reference information

Reference information
Reference number: F28055
Type: Moving Image
Year: 1971
Duration: 00:28;32
Category: Documentary
Production company: Egyptian Cinema Organisation
Place of origin: Egypt

Viewing locations

  • Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Wellington: No Viewing Material Currently Available


A film on Pharaoh Rameses II and the construction of Egypt's Abu Simbel temples - an "eight wonder" to add to the seven of the ancient world. The temples - Rameses' monuments to himself and his wife Nefertari - were hewn from cliff faces beside the river Nile and are notable for their frontages of colossal statues.

Paintings by prominent Egyptian artist Hussein Bicar take us from the conception and construction of the temples in the 13th century BC to their rediscovery in the early 19th century AD.

A modern feat of engineering follows with [late 1960s] footage of work in moving the temples to higher ground to save them from being submerged with the creation of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile. The raised, relocated, temples are shown in conclusion.

Made by former NZ National Film Unit director John Feeney for the Egyptian Cinema Organisation, the film premiered at the 1973 Berlin Festival for Documentary Films, but then itself became lost. A surviving print in the New Zealand Film Archive enabled the film to be digitised and re-presented in Cairo in 2014 at the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts.

The film is is English.


Director: John Feeney