Desert Paradise

Ike Bertels

A prosperous and happy diamond town in the south of Namibia is forced to think about its future now that the mines are all emptied out. Will the remaining inhabitants be able to turn the town around? Observational documentary which lets the townspeople and the stunning landscape speak for themselves.

The Namibian desert town Oranjemund was until recently run by the Namdeb Diamond Corporation. Only employees were allowed to live there and Namdeb provided housing, free water and electricity. Now that Namdeb is about to close its mines and leave town altogether, the people of Oranjemund are left with uncertainty. Many are planning to depart.

Desert Paradise is a nicely flowing documentary, which lets the inhabitants tell the stories of their town in conversation amongst themselves. Like supermarket manager Tate, grilling food on the barbecue and telling his daughter and grandson about his early days in Oranjemund. Or the three young women sitting beneath a tree who realize their days of luxury might not be as obvious anymore. Everyone remains optimistic, but also critical of the faceless diamond corporation, not taking responsibility for a town whose resources it drained for decades.


Ike Bertels
Country of production
Netherlands, The
87 minutes
Spoken language
Afrikaans, English
Production company
BALDR Film Amsterdam
Dutch distributor
Cinema Delicatessen