Sunday, April 08, 2007
Ethiopia, the Blue Nile, Sudan, Abu Simbel: Mystery of the Nile the newest Imax movie at SciPort; Mon - Fri at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm
Little of the movie takes place in precincts familiar to casual students of things Egyptian. Most of it focuses upon surviving the swirling, crocodilian waters of the Blue Nile.
Who knew that the Blue Nile, originating in Ethiopia, gives the main Nile some 80% of its water, and that the White Nile, flowing north from vast Lake Victoria, is small beans?
Aboard the two big yellow rafts is a muscular, international crew which includes a pair of appealing female anthropologists; they are guided by the Indiana Jones-like Pasquale Scaturro.
“The Nile has rapids, waterfalls, jungle, canyons, deserts, hippos, crocs, long flat beautiful sections, huge beautiful sandbars,” observes Scaturro. In other words, this is a primo movie set.
The movie offers disorienting thrills. But it is golden in its gift of history. “Without the Nile there would be no Egypt, no pharaohs, no pyramids. The history of the western world is inextricably tied to the Nile,” says Scaturro.
The robe-clad world of Ethiopian Christian rite - the celebrants chant mellifluously and use fluent percussion under embroidered umbrellas - is a rare scene.
In Sudan the moviemakers are at pains to explain the richness of Meroe, center of ancient Nubian culture.
In Egypt there are stops at the isolated temple of Abu Simbel and at Luxor.
Mystery of the Nile gets my unqualified recommendation. It’s appropriate for all ages. “It’s hard to combine entertainment and education in these Imax movies,” notes Talbot Hopkins. “This movie gets the balance right.”
See the trailer and other background material at orbitamax.com.
Ticket and times can be found at Sciport.org.
Mystery of the Nile at SciPort:
Monday-Friday: 11:00, 1:00, 3:00
Saturday: 11:00, 1:30, 4:00
Sunday: 3:00, 5:00
More info: (318) 424-3466