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The Day Shall Dawn: Life on a boat


The Day Shall Dawn: Rice crispies and little fish
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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We had a servant, John and Marlene and I had a joint servant who I believe was called Ahmed, and there's a lovely picture somewhere of Ahmed carrying our breakfast on a tray across the fields to our little hut. Once, going through the village, I noticed that all the women were doing something with rice. What they were doing, they were puffing rice, roasting rice and puffing it, and then it would be stored. I said, 'This is wonderful, Rice Krispies for breakfast'. 'Ah, yes'. But when I asked them, the cooks that were working with us, to do that, they said, 'That's women's work, we won't touch that'. We couldn't get that.

The other thing that I wondered about is that, when we had our lunch, we often had fish, but the fish were always this size, you know, like slightly larger sardines, and yet this river was full of enormous fish. So I said, 'Well, why are the fish always so small'. There was a sort of slightly embarrassed silence, and it turned out to be a money problem. They couldn't afford to feed us larger fish.

Born in Germany, cinematographer Walter Lassally (1926-2017) was best known for his Oscar-winning work on 'Zorba the Greek'. He was greatly respected in the film industry for his ability to take the best of his work in one area and apply it to another, from mainstream to international art films to documentary. He was associated with the Free Cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. In 1987 he published his autobiography called 'Itinerant Cameraman'.

Listeners: Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is a Canadian who came to Europe to study and never got round to heading back home. He did his undergraduate work at Carleton University (in Biology) in Ottawa, and then did graduate work at the University of Western Ontario (in Zoology). After completing his doctorate at Oxford (in the Department of Zoology), followed with a year of postdoc at the University of London, he moved to the University's newly-established Audio-Visual Centre (under the direction of Michael Clarke) where he spent four years in production (of primarily science programs) and began to teach film. In 1974 Bowden became Director of the new Audio-Visual Centre at the University of Warwick, which was then in the process of introducing film studies into the curriculum and where his interest in the academic study of film was promoted and encouraged by scholars such as Victor Perkins, Robin Wood, and Richard Dyer. In 1983, his partner and he moved to Greece, and the following year he began to teach for the University of Maryland (European Division), for which he has taught (and continues to teach) biology and film courses in Crete, Bosnia, and the Middle East.

Tags: The Day Shall Dawn, Ahmed

Duration: 1 minute, 14 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008