For film crews searching for an authentic, rural market experience with live animals, Biblical Productions can highly recommend filming at the Halal Market in Bethlehem.
Every Saturday, shepherds, farmers, and businessmen of Bethlehem and surrounding areas meet in the early morning hours to inspect each others’ live goods and bargain for the best prices. From 5 am onwards, dusty old trucks with bleating sheep, goats and lambs arrive at the mountain slope situated just minutes away from the city center of Bethlehem and the famous Church of the Nativity.
The animals are tied up to the olive trees scattered along the hill, while the men start wandering from group to group, inspecting the animals with trained eyes, having chit-chats with other farmers and smoking the obligatory cigarette.
Sometimes negotiations take hours and prices for live animals are surprisingly high here. A couple of rattly stalls offer falafel, warm pita and freshly squeezed orange juice as refreshments in the heat.
The Halal Market is a truly unique filming experience, where crews can get great live animal market images, which can serve as a reference to old markets from former centuries. It is recommended to arrive early, as the market can be wrapped up sometimes already by 8 am or 9 am. Enjoy the smells and the scenery and watch the sun come up over the mountains; you will truly feel a Middle Eastern way of life here.