»Pasolini traveled to the north of Yemen in October 1970 in order to film a scene for his «Decameron» there, which was later cut from the film. In the meantime, a free Sunday morning engendered the documentary about the city of Sana’a. In the subsequent months, this material developed into an official appeal to UNESCO in the form of Le Mura di Sana’a. Just a few months later, RAI broadcasted the first version on Italian television. […] If Pasolini […] profanes the documentary film, the travelogue, and ethnological research, he […] shifts the aim of the documentary from the historical object of the old city walls to the ways of life of the nameless who must live within them. He shifts the solipsistic hegemony of the western artist abroad onto the passive gaze of the ethnographer; the index of speech onto a politics of images, where, ultimately, Pasolini’s «Le Mura di Sana’a» doesn’t make an appeal for the museum conservation of the historical walls of Sana’a, but rather commemorates, based on an implicit philosophy of history, the ways of life in a city that is still intact.«
(Toni Hildebrandt, »Allegories of the Profane on Foreign Soil in Pasolini’s Work after 1968«, in: estetica. studi e ricerche 2, 2017).