Louvre Abu Dhabi tells story of humanity in short film

The 40-minute movie brings the story of humanity to life by exploring artworks from the museum’s collection from prehistoric times to the present day.
Monday 09/11/2020
Monumental Lion sculpture is seen at the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates February 10, 2018. (REUTERS)
Monumental Lion sculpture is seen at the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates February 10, 2018. (REUTERS)

ABU DHABI-- The Louvre Abu Dhabi announced the release of its first short film, "The Pulse of Time" on November 11, celebrating its third anniversary.

The 40-minute movie brings the story of humanity to life by exploring artworks from the museum’s collection from prehistoric times to the present day.

“This immersive digital experience encapsulates the current moment as the museum reflects on its third year anniversary,” said Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi in a press release.

“The film animates the galleries and objects on view, for an awakening of the imagination that audiences may experience from anywhere in the world," he added.

Through narration, photography and original music, "The Pulse of Time" takes viewers on a journey through the 12 galleries of Louvre Abu Dhabi to explore the history of human creativity.

Premiering on the museum’s YouTube channel, "The Pulse of Time" will be available to stream for free on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website from November 12.

Louvre Abu Dhabi to premiere Original film ‘The Pulse of Time’ on November 11. (https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae)
Louvre Abu Dhabi to premiere Original film ‘The Pulse of Time’ on November 11. (louvreabudhabi.ae)

The film is narrated in Arabic, English and French. Emirati actor and producer Saoud al-Kaabi, known for his role in City of Life (2009), tells the story in Arabic, while English actor, writer and film director Charles Dance, known for his role as Tywin Lannister in the "Game of Thrones" series, narrates in English and Swiss-French actress Irene Jacob, known for her role in "Three Colours: Red" (1994), narrates in French.

The film will be available later in the form of an audio tour of the museum's multimedia guide in six languages, narrated by a group of participating artists in addition to actress Lan Qiu in Chinese, actress Dinara Drukarova in Russian and actor Stephan Konarsky in German.

The film represents "the museum space itself as a crossroads for intercultural connection," said Rabate, noting that "The Pulse of Time" marks a new era of original, digital projects living side-by-side with traditional, physical exhibitions.

Directors Mohamed Somji, Alexandre Planck and Stephane Mischaka brought to life the stories of humanity that the museum tells through its art collection.

The sound creation was commissioned and jointly produced by Alexandre Plank, Radio Producer for the French National Radio channel France Culture, and two-time winner of the PRIX ITALIA international competition for radio and TV, and Antoine Richard, winner of the same prize.

The script was developed by author and playwright Stephane Michaka, and the original music score is by French composer, songwriter and frontman of the band Syd Matters, Jonathan Morali.

An Emirati visitor sits next to the Bather, also called Venus statue by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain, 1710-1795, at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)
An Emirati visitor sits next to the Bather, also called Venus statue by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain, 1710-1795, at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)

Among the rhythms and melodies flow the voice of Saoud Al Kaabi, Charles Dance, and Irene Jacob, taking viewers on a journey to see how each artwork, in its own way, links man with the world around him.

“This experience, inspired by Stéphane Michaka’s text, is like an epic showcasing the art collection in an experience that touches the senses. Changing times, civilizations and cultures," said Planck.

The film shows commonalities between cultures that can be discovered in the artworks in Louvre Abu Dhabi's collection, such as the statue of a man called "Khatib" wearing a Roman toga dress from Italy 100-150 AD, and reviews the mutual influence between East and West through a basin engraved with the name Bonifelius from Northern Italy.

The artworks that the film highlights include a huge two-headed statue from Ain Ghazal in Jordan on loan from the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.

"The Pulse of Time" adds to the roster of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s digital programmes, which includes the "We Are Not Alone" podcast by Soundwalk Collective, Anghami’s curated playlists of soundtracks inspired by the museum’s collection, virtual exhibition tours, highlights from the museum’s online collection, as well as online activities for families and children available on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website and mobile application.

This short film is evidence of the museums' ability to integrate traditional exhibitions with contemporary digital assignments. It adds a magical touch to the galleries and exhibited pieces, so viewers unleashe their imagination wherever they are in the world to explore these wonders of humanity.