Three men attempt to become the first humans to run coast to coast across the Sahara Desert.

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Storyline

In 2006, an international expedition team of three men - Charlie Engle (USA), Ray Zahab (Canada) and Kevin Lin (Taiwan) undertook a quest that no human being has ever fulfilled. They ran across the Sahara Desert. Each runner brought his own unique story and motivations, but all unite around a love for Africa and a profound desire to prove that the impossible is possible. The film is an up-close, character-driven documentary that delves deep into the culture of the Sahara through the eyes of three individuals undergoing a life-altering experience. Along with the runners, we cross six countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Egypt. Through the eyes of our runners, we come to understand the realities of Africa - the beauty and the tragedy inherent in everyday life. This reality is underscored by the recurring theme of water - a daily necessity for our runners and a daily struggle for many of the people they encounter. The cast encountered many locals who spend two and half ... Written by William Keys

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sahara | runner | desert | running | See All (4) »

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Documentary | Sport

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Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Szahara átfutása  »

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$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Referenced in Beyond the Expedition: Running the Sahara (2008) See more »

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Mission Incredible instead of Mission Impossible
26 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Directed by James Moll and narrated and executive-produced by Matt Damon, RUNNING THE SAHARA is a uplifting and socially aware documentary chronicling the 111-day run coast to coast across the Sahara Desert completed by a team of three experienced runners (Charlie Engle from America, Ray Zahab from Canada, and Kevin Lin from Taiwan).

Initiated by Ray simply because no human being has ever done it before, the three agree to undertake this challenge together. Each has their character and motivation, but they accomplish the expedition collectively. This film details the journey's physical and emotional impact on the runners. It is about team-spirit, challenge, discovery, and most importantly believing and materialising one's dream.

The group's incredible voyage which covers 6 countries is met with various problems (the heat, sand storms, unknown visa and terrorist situation, injuries, and even self-doubt). Yet their strenuous experience is not without joyous and touching moments such as the arrival of their family, encouragement from friends, and the village children's greeting and running along with them.

This character-driven film provides a complex picture of culturally-vibrant Africa – its mysteriously beautiful but extremely merciless desert, and its acute water problems (evidenced through the 7-year-old boy left alone in wilderness to wait for the return of his water-searching parents, and the primitive well-digging method). With the charitable H2O Africa campaigning for clean water being a component of the expedition, it is for sure that to ease the water crisis in the Continent will no longer remain a unfulfilled mission impossible.


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