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Home > Screenings > ORF-Enterprise GmbH & Co. KG > The Builders of the Alhambra

Director: Isabel Fernández

Producer: A co-production by El de las Dos Vidas AIE, Al Pati Produccions, Polar Star Films, RTVE, Canal Sur, ZDF/ARTE, ORF, Aljazeera Documentary Channel in association with ORF-Enterprise, Versión Digital

Writer: Isabel Fernández, Margarita Melgar

Cast: Amr Waked (Ibn al-Jatib), Sofian El Benaissati (Ibn Zamrak), Farah Hamed Ali (Umm al Hassan), Hamid Krim (Yusuf I), Adil Koukouh (Mohammed V)

Genres: Documentary

2 x 52 min., 1 x 90 min.

In 1340 Granada, the last Muslim Al-Andalus kingdom, loses its biggest battle against the neighbouring Christian monarchs. Knowing their beleaguered kingdom is doomed, two sultans, Yusuf I and his son Muhammed V, embark on constructing a building in an attempt to reach for the stars: the Alhambra Palaces. Their vizier Ibn al-Khatib, a respected poet, writer and scholar, chronicles the struggle to condense and preserve the achievements of Al-Andalus in this unique work of art and architecture: for more than 700 years, Al-Andalus was the greatest centre for innovation and knowledge in Europe since Ancient Greece.

The Alhambra still stands as a monument to this golden era. Following Ibn al-Khatib’s detailed descriptions of life in 14th-century Granada and aided by modern historians, celebrated writer-director Isabel Fernández takes viewers on a journey inside the walls of what she describes as “the most beautiful and mysterious building in the world”. The film recreates medieval Muslim Granada using emblematic art pieces constructed specifically for the shoot and produced as authentically as possible. The Alhambra is presented visually in a way never seen before, in a unique effort to bring life to the period and to explore the architectural, religious, and cultural significance of the complex.