Iran from above – The plains of the east | DW Documentary


Iran. This three-part documentary series explores a vast, magical country. With exclusive aerial footage, the film tells stories of the country’s nature, traditions and contemporary society, while delving into the lives of everyday people.

In this episode: The great plains of the east stretch between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. These vast arid expanses have been shaped by history, and made fertile by determined, resourceful people.

The island of Keshm is located at the opening to the Gulf of Oman. It is striking, thanks to its geological features, lunar landscape and numerous fishing villages. This is home to the port people of the Bandari, whose women are the last to practice a centuries-old tradition of gold embroidery.

500 kilometers away is the city of Bam, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2003. Today, the city center has been rebuilt. From there, the documentary takes us to the unique landscape of the Dasht-e Lut desert and Gonabad in the north. The fact that there is water for the green fields and orchards here is due to the ingenuity of the people, who began some 2,500 years ago to build the underground canals that today form a gigantic irrigation network.

The holy city of Mashhad, a place of pilgrimage for Shiites, attracts more than 20 million pilgrims every year. In Madan-e Olja, a precious stone is extracted: turquoise. For 7,000 years, the lives of the people here have revolved around this stone.

Further north, tender grass covers the vast plains, and feeds huge herds of dromedaries. They are used as farm animals by the nomadic Turkmen people. Today, however, motorcycles have replaced the dromedaries in many places.

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