Al Habil

The Rope
During the late seventies and early eighties, a group of filmmakers who were then the staff of the Cinema Section at the Department of Culture issued a periodical named CINEMA. This same group then founded the Sudanese Film Group (SFG) in April 1989 to give them more independence from the state. The purpose of the group was to be fully engaged in all aspects of film production, screening, and teaching, as well as maintaining the passion of the Sudanese for the cinema. But on 30 June 1989 the coup d’état, which brought with it a suspicion of all forms of art, terminated any cultural aspirations and banned all civic society organizations. Finally in 2005 the heavy hand of the state was loosened somewhat, and the SFG was able to re-register.
Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art digitally restored seven works by these Sudanese filmmakers in 2018. Ibrahim Shaddad’s short film Al Habil (1985) documents two blind men making their way through the desert accompanied by a donkey. Connected by a rope, sometimes the two men decide the way, and sometimes the donkey leads them through the desert.
by Ibrahim Shaddad
with Khatab H. Ahmed, Mohd. A. Gorani, Mariam M. Eltayeb, A. Gadir Daoud
Sudan 1985 Without dialogue 32’ Colour


  • Khatab H. Ahmed
  • Mohd. A. Gorani
  • Mariam M. Eltayeb
  • A. Gadir Daoud


Written and Directed by Ibrahim Shaddad
Cinematography Tawfig O. Fagir
Editing Abdel Gadir Daoud
Music Abdalla M. Abdalla
Sound Awad Eldaw, Salah Saeed
Assistant Director Eltayeb Mahdi
Production Managers Manar Elhilo, A. Rahman Nagdi
Restoration Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst

Produced by

Department of Culture, Cinema Section

Ibrahim Shaddad

Ibrahim Shaddad, born in Halfa, Sudan in 1945, studied at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. He has written and directed many films and some plays. Practically all films and plays in Sudan were discontinued by producers or banned by governments. He is a founding member of the Sudanese Film Group and a member of the editorial board of the magazine Cinema.


1964 Jagdpartie (Hunting Party) 1981 Jamal (A Camel); 14 min. 1984 Al Habil (The Rope); 32 min. 1994 Insan; 25 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019