Rodolfo Sancho

Rodolfo Sancho

Carolina Crescentini

Carolina Crescentini

Giancarlo Giannini

Giancarlo Giannini

Marisa Paredes

Marisa Paredes

Massimo Ghini

Massimo Ghini

Imanol Arias

Imanol Arias

Marco Bocci

Marco Bocci

Youssef Kerkour

Youssef Kerkour

Hamid Basket

Hamid Basket

Kamal Moummad

Kamal Moummad

Jean Pierre Andre Douay

Jean Pierre Andre Douay

Enrico Salimberi

Enrico Salimberi

SAND & FIRE
(The impossible Dream!) 

The film SAND & FIRE (The impossible Dream!)  tells the extraordinary story of DOMINGO BADIA, alias ALI BEY EL ABBASSI (born, 1767 Barcelona – died, 1818 Damascus) and that of LADY HESTER STANHOPE, otherwise known as MELEKI, QUEEN OF PALMYRA, ( born, 1776 Kent, England – died, 1839 Djîhoun, Syria).
Set between 1802 and 1818, the plot of the film has resonance for today with searing realism as it depicts a moderate peaceful Islam confronting another which is fanatical and cruel.
It is a true story about a Spanish army officer, Domingo Badia, who is sent to Morocco as an explorer by Prime Minister GODOY with a false identity of one, Ali Bey, son of the Emir of Damascus (assassinated by the Turks).
He is, in fact, a secret agent with a mission to overthrow the Moroccan Sultan, Moulay Slimane, who trades wheat with the English for munitions destined to destabilize Andalusian Spain.
Within this time period, a certain Richard Brothers (well known for his extremely detailed prediction of the beheading of King Louis XVI) revealed in a book that Lady Hester Stanhope, niece of the English Prime Minister, William Pitt, would be crowned Queen of Palmyra, the new Zenobia.
Domingo Badia meets Lady Hester when he goes to London on a mission. It is the starting point of a passionate tumultuous love affair which endures for fourteen years before its tragic end; their love unable to sustain two irreconcilable visions of Islam.
SAND & FIRE (The impossible Dream!)  is an adventure film of fearless heroes and their thrilling exploits in keeping with the epic tradition.
A film-goer, travelling with Ali Bey through Spain, France, England and Morocco, is transported to sumptuously decorated palaces in Madrid, Paris, London and Morocco of the early 19th century and with Lady Hester to the burning sands of Arabia and the ancient ruins of Palmyra.
SAND & FIRE (The impossible Dream!)  is a flight of fancy which emphasises heroics, ambition, love, and tragedy – the film’s true protagonists.
It also attracts our attention with its burning contemporary issues: war, barbarity, religious fanaticism, and the imposition of western values as a universal model…

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Director

Souheil Benbarka

Story and Screenplay

Bernard Stora and Souheil Benbarka

Production

Jal’s Production - Casablanca & Flat Parioli -Rome

Chief Make Up Artist

Leila Benbarka

Costume Supervisor

Lia Morandini

Film Locations

Italy, Morocco, England

Director of Photography

Ugo Menegatti

Music by

Stefano Lentini

Production Designer

Marco Trentini - Francesco Cotone

Art Director

Amal El Mazouni

Executive Producers

Gianni Sarago - Hamid Basket

Length

115 mn

Format

2,39 – color

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Souheil BENBARKA

Souheil Benbarka’s career in film began in Rome in 1962 when, by pure chance, he was present at the filming of a scene from Federico Fellini’s 8½.
Four years later, coming first in the entrance examination, he gained a place at the Centre for Experimental Cinematography of Rome in the department of film direction. He became assistant to Pier Pasolini for Oedipus Rex a few months later.
In 1970, he set up in Morocco and from 1972 onwards produced and directed, more than two hundred promotional films, and eight full length films.
He has directed:
Claudia Cardinale - Harvey Keitel - Ugo Tognazzi - Max Von Sydow - Claude Rich - F. Murray Abraham - Fernando Rey - Marie Christine Barrault - Irène Papas - Laurent Terzieff - Angela Molina - Serghei Bondartchouk - Giancarlo Giannini - Massimo Ghini - Marisa Paradès - Miriam Makeba - Helmut Berger  Florinda Bolkan - Violante Placido - Mimsy Farmer - Imanol Arias - Hassan Joundi –Rodolfo Sancho - Naima Lamcharki – Imanol Arias.

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