Urban Sights: Urban History and Visual CultureMain MenuIntroductionConflicting Visions of Renewal in Pittsburgh's Hill District, 1950-1968 by Laura GrantmyreSan Francisco Views: Robert Bechtle and the Reformulation of Urban Vision by Bridget GilmanVisualizing Iraq: Oil, Cinema, and the Modern City by Mona DamlujiFilmic Witness to the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder by Carrie RentschlerBuses from Nowhere: Television and Anti-busing Activism in 1970s Urban America by Matt DelmontMona Damluji89c6177132ce9094bd19f4e5159eb300a76ef0dfMatthew F. Delmont5676b5682f4c73618365582367c04a35162484d5Bridget Gilman032da9b6b9003c284100547a1d63b1ed9aca49e2Laura Grantmyre8add17c1c26ed9de6b804f44312bd03052f5735eCarrie Rentschlere7ded604f66cae2062fa490f51234edecd44a076
The Third River – clip 6.
12013-09-07T03:18:09-07:00Mona Damluji89c6177132ce9094bd19f4e5159eb300a76ef0df2552A selected sequence from a documentary produced by the Iraq Petroleum Company about the construction of an oil pipeline between the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq fields and the port city Banias in Syria.plain2016-05-25T19:01:02-07:00Critical Commons1951Video2013-09-06T23:54:12ZThe Third RiverLeonard Butingan7a14423b150626a983f2746324cfa4a37fcf879f
This page is referenced by:
12014-06-29T20:02:58-07:00Iraq's first public relations picture24plain208622016-05-04T15:44:22-07:00 Iraq has been identified by first British and later national government rhetoric as the modern incarnation of the ‘cradle of civilization’, also referred to as Mesopotamia. The Greek origins of the name for this ancient region literally translate to the 'land between rivers': the Tigris and Euphrates. Iraq’s rivers feature centrally in representations of the country and its capital, as the life-giving natural resource that supported the beginnings of human civilization.
IPC’s project to construct the world’s largest pipeline in 1951 from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port at Banias, Syria, borrowed from this popular imaginary of an ancient Mesopotamia to create its narrative of modern Iraq. IPC called its Kirkuk-Banias pipeline the 'Third River' as a symbolic and literal reference to the controlled flow of 'natural wealth' that would bring modern civilization back to the cradle of civilization. The imaginary of Iraq’s man-made river of oil circulated widely in company publications, but was most powerfully cultivated in IPC’s first documentary, The Third River (1952).
The Third River was the earliest film about modern Iraq to be made for and circulated to audiences in Britain and the Middle East. Sponsored by the British-controlled Iraq Petroleum Company, produced by Film Centre in London, shot on-location in Iraq and Syria, and translated into both English and Arabic versions, this film signified a new approach in the long orientalist history of representing Baghdad. Clarke wrote of IPC’s first film project that, 'in making The Third River we were faced with Iraq as it is, not with the luscious and cloying luxuries of a Hollywood gorgeous east'. For the first time in cinematic history, the land, people and places of Iraq figured as a primary subject of a film narrative rather than serving merely as an exotic backdrop.