The city under the city

[working title]

I am at the early stage of developing this feature length archival film. Please get in touch if you’d like to support this project.

A filmmaker sets out to investigate the circumstances surrounding the 1938 murder of James Starkey, a British archaeologist who is heading up a major dig in Palestine at the height of the Arab revolt. A set of photos documenting the excavations show lively interactions with Palestinians from the neighbouring village who are employed to excavate the remains of an ancient biblical city that is buried beneath village lands.  As the filmmaker sorts through press, government, and archaeological reports to consider conflicting accounts of the motives for Starkey’s murder, a different order of enigma comes into view. The sudden disappearance of the entire population of the village just ten years later, and the appearance of a new, biblical settlement.

Workers from the dig at Tell ed-Duweir, Palestine. A snap-shot I took during a recent visit to the British Museum archives.