1955. Five Oxford University students embark on an expedition to study the Berber tribes of Southern Morocco, unaware the country is in the throes of a nationalist uprising.
Fifty years later, after stumbling across their story, Paul Olding set out (with his nephew James) to try and follow in the students’ footsteps, venturing up into the High Atlas Mountains in search of the Berber Village the team once called home.
Return to the Berber Village is part memoir, part travelogue, with a strong historical perspective. Armed with the students' personal diaries, photographs and an original hand drawn map to help locate the village, join Paul as he uncovers how the team of undergraduates inadvertently chronicled the final dying days of the French administration of Morocco, and the fall of the infamous French sympathiser, T’hami el Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech.
On his journey of discovery, Paul explores the impact Moroccan independence has made on the lives of the mountain Berbers, connecting with the past by tracking down the families and friends of people that had known the Oxford students, enjoying Berber hospitality along the way with copious glasses of sweet mint tea.
What People Have Said...
A great adventure, combining history and exploration. It will inspire you to get out there.
Historian & Broadcaster
Paul Olding is a BAFTA nominated (Best Director), multi-award-winning television Writer/Director and Producer. He has made over fifty films, traveling the globe to document and explore the natural world, ancient civilisations and the universe beyond. Paul has worked with the likes of Prof Brian Cox, Prof Iain Stewart and Prof Alice Roberts in creating innovative science documentaries. He also enjoys making short films, biographies and historical drama. Paul has a doctorate in the calls of Australian Microhylid treefrogs from the University of Oxford and was once the world’s second leading expert in these small but vocal frogs. When he is not writing or making films, he can be found on his vineyard in East Sussex. He lives in South East London with his wife, and their two sons.