A general description of the Mediterranean basin - birthplace of Western civilisation and three world religions. The film centres upon the sea from which traders set out to explore the unknown world, the people that live around its shores and its importance for the collective security of the Alliance. Organised through episodes dealing with various Mediterranean countries, highlighting their rich heritage (traditions, natural resources, industry and history) with a general need for defence (an idea supported by the use of archive footage, mostly of the Second World War). The idea behind this production was perhaps to make the viewer aware of the expansion of the Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean Eastern shore; however this is not mentioned specifically. The commentary moves between the eulogy to the Mediterranean countries and the "touristic guide", shifting fast between places, in a style identifiable to most Peter Bailys productions.
Images of people of the rural areas of the Mediterranean (Greek and Turkish) introduce the subject of the ancient civilizations that have populated the region. A vintage map of the Mediterranean will be used several times to introduce every episode/country. Greek Ruins of Delphi, Gibraltar in South Spain, shipwrecked and sunken ships as illustration of the trade that has been going on for centuries. The section on Italy begins with Sardinian landscapes: the island is now part of Italy and benefits from the country's modern defence. Giuseppe Garibaldi guided missile cruiser is shown at sea. The Alps, seen from an airplane. Archive footage: a man finds the name of his father in a memorial site. Italy's modernisation is exemplified with footage of railroads across the Valley of the Po. Venice: canals and gondolas. Highlights of the cities of Padua, Verona, Florence, Siena and (closing the sequence) the fresco paintings from Saint Angelo in Formis, Monte Cassino. Archive footage: the aerial bombing of the Abbey of Monte Cassino by the Allies in 1944. Workers in the marble mines of Carrara. Black and white footage of Hitler and Mussolini at the impressive military parade in Rome, 1938. Some of Rome's touristic attractions are featured. Etna volcano in Sicily covered in white. Sicily has a strategic position due to its closeness to North Africa, depicted with many of its gas and fuel wells. The commentary tells how Rommel was defeated because of fuel shortage; the point being the power remains with those who control fuel resources. Archive footage of Afrika korps during the North African campaign. Equally strategic is Malta: shipyard and port. Archive footage from the siege of Malta during Second World War. Footage of passengers in a holiday cruise. Similar shots from the cruise ship come up regularly throughout all the film, as trying to confront concepts such as war conflict with security/leisure. This strategy is done on a greater level in every section by mixing each country's tourist attractions and archive footage of devastating war conflicts that happened in each country. Malta now is thriving thanks to tourism and industry: beaches and women in a fabric factory. The islands of Greece: Mikonos, Naxos, Delos, then Rhodes and Athens: the Parthenon. Archive footage of Greek Civil war with streets full of debris and tanks passing. Turkey's strategic position stems from its shared border with Asia and the Bosphorus, connecting both continents, a major trade route with Eastern Asia. From commercial airline aerial footage of a NATO military exercise and a convoy crossing Turkey to Greece from the same exercise: there are no borders between allies. A third strategic gateway is Egypt, which connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea through the Suez Canal - which five times has fallen into disrepair. Images of modern Egypt are mixed with those of the Giza Pyramids and the Egypt of the pharaohs. Attention is given to Gaza and the conflict between Arabs and Jews. Archive footage shows corpses scattered in the battlefield. Jerusalem, Galilea, olive picking and a helicopter fumigating the fields of olive trees. Shots of a Super VC10 from BOAC airlines, interior with passengers and on flight. Final praise for the people of the Mediterranean with a montage of close ups of faces.
- Related period
- 1945-1989 (content)
- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Production sponsor)
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Information Service (Production company)
Baylis, Peter (Production individual)
- Production date
- Place made
whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 3
- Catalogue number
- NAT 2054