DER Documentary

Rivers of Sand

Rivers of Sand - a film by Robert Gardner launch preview watch a preview

by Robert Gardner
color, 85 min, 1974, digitally remastered 2008

A closed-captioned version of this DVD is available. Please to order.

Digitally Remastered DVD Edition

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

This Special Edition DVD includes:

  • • The film optimally remastered for sound and image from a new 35mm blow up
  • • Audio commentary track by Robert Gardner and Robert Fenz
  • • Photo gallery featuring still images and journal entries read by Robert Gardner

The people portrayed in this film are called Hamar. They dwell in the thorny scrubland of southwestern Ethiopia. They are isolated by some distant choice that now limits their movement and defines their condition. In their isolation, they seemed to have refined this not uncommon principle of social organization to a remarkably pure state. At least until recently, it has resulted in their retaining a highly traditional way of life. Part of that tradition was the open, even flamboyant, acknowledgement of male supremacy.

Hamar men are masters and their women are slaves. The film is an attempt to disclose not only the activities of the Hamar, but also the effect on mood and behavior, of a life governed by sexual inequality.

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