Day of the Falcon, also known as Black Gold and Black Thirst, is a 2011 epic drama film, based on Hans Ruesch's 1957 novel South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It was produced by Tarak Ben Ammar, Chairman of Quinta Communications and co-produced by the Doha Film Institute, Qatar. The film had a budget of US$55 million, making it one of the most expensive films backed by an Arab about an Arab subject.
Years pass and the kids grow up. Auda (Tahar Rahim) is still the bookworm, while Saleh (Akin Gazi) hopes to see his father someday. Nesib starts to get worried as he does not have enough money and there is nothing around him but desert and sand. Sam Thurkettle (Corey Johnson), a geologist working for a western oil firm called Texan Oil, meets Nesib after making some survey in the Yellow Belt. Nesib initially refuses to believe Sam saying that there is only sand and nothing else. Sam shows him a piece of black shale and convinces Nesib that it is an indication of crude oil beneath the ground. He explains Nesib that crude oil is very valuable and if Nesib lets him extract oil, his company would pay him phenomenal money, that would make him richer than the Queen of England. Nesib accepts the offer and lets the westerners to extract oil from the yellow belt, thus violating the peace pact. Money slowly starts to pour in and Nesib starts to modernize his country by building schools and hospitals. Nesib makes Auda the national librarian and Tariq their Colonel. He send his envoy to Amar to strike a deal to extract oil from the yellow belt. Meanwhile, some radicals attack one of the oil sites and kill the crew. Nesib learns that it is the act of his other tribes men and manages to convince all his tribes to accept oil extraction by gifting them valuables. The envoy returns and tells Nesib that Amar considers the exploitation of yellow belt a violation of the treaty. Saleh tells Auda that he can convince their father (Amar) and decides to leave without informing anyone. Halfway through, Saleh kills his support staff and flees the scene.
Nesib, desperate to gain from the oil, decides to marry Auda to his daughter Leyla (Freida Pinto). Auda reluctantly agrees as he is convinced that it is a plot so that Amar will not attack Nesib. Meanwhile Saleh is caught and Ibn Idriss kills him accusing him of treason. Nesib decides to send Auda to convince Amar for using the yellow belt. Auda meets Amar, who is surprised to learn that Auda has come as a representative of Nesib. Auda learns more about his father during his stay there. Amar tells Auda that Nesib offered 5% of the earnings but he refused the offer. When Auda tries to explain to him, he says that everything in his home is made either out of blood or love, but not money and that money has no value. The following day a meeting is held with Amar's allies. They say that by letting foreigners extract oil they let themselves be destroyed, while Auda successfully convinces them by saying if god had not meant it for them to use, he wouldn't have given it in their soil. Everybody is convinced. Amar and Auda team up and devise a plan that will help Amar attack and gain control of the Yellow Belt. Auda makes up a team and unites other tribes as well. They slowly start attacking oil fields and in the ensuing battle Tariq is killed. He meets Sheikh of Beni Sirri tribe and during the meeting the Sheikh beats Aicha (Liya Kebede), a slave girl, brutally. Auda tries to protest and an argument ensues, leaving Auda to handcuff and disgrace the leaders of Beni Sirri tribe and freeing the slaves. Amar arrives and meets Auda, who reveals that he has united all the other tribes and intends to keep the yellow belt for them. During the discussion, Amar is shot dead by the Beni Sirri tribe. Learning about the developments, Nesib accepts Auda as the prince. The film ends with Auda holding a meeting with several foreigners presumably with oil companies.
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