23 min, 58 sec, Stereo Color/B&W, DVD NTSC [4:3]
©Muqarnas Film

City of Brass (2002) from Hisham Bizri on Vimeo.

Inspired by: The Arabian Nights

Cast Misha Kusnatsov & Nicole Wilder, with Ellis Foster, Amos Ellis, & Richard Wallace
Director of Photography: LInes Sommer
Gaffer: Bill Biagi
Set Design: Sana Hachem
Sound: Hisham Bizri & Seong Joon Moon
CG: Hisham Bizri, Alan Cruz, Barbara Herman, & Jakub Hyrniewicz
Director of Animation: Alan Cruz
Make-up & Costumes: Rudi Rubis
Direction/Scenario/Editing: Hisham Bizri


Antoine Galland (Misha Kuznatzov) buys a rare manuscript known as The Arabian Nights from an Arab Moor (Ellis Foster) living in Europe at the turn of the 18th century. While translating the manuscript Antoine realizes that it is incomplete. The Arab promises to deliver the rest but delays fulfilling his promise as he carries on an affair with Antoine's estranged wife, Alma (Nicole Wilder), who in turn becomes a sorceress in control of Antoine's dreams.

Obsessed with the manuscript and distanced from his wife, Antoine fantasizes that he is a character in one of the stories he is translating, City of Brass, set in 10th century Arabia. Soon, Antoine's mythical search for the lost, forgotten city in the precarious desert landscape comes to parallel his own real quest for his abandoned wife. Through the act of translation Antoine undergoes a process of transformation. His only reconciliation with his wife takes place, allegorically, in the heart of the city's haunted landscapes, yet this reconciliation is unable to avert their separation. Antoine sails back to the Orient in search of the lost manuscripts.