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
this is a great documentary which is handicapped by the overwhelming assholery of the lead runner. socially conscious and well filmed in parts of the world that most Americans know little to nothing about, the movie only drags when the lead runner is either having a tantrum or acting in a manner befitting Machiavelli. the sight of the Sahara desert seems the only locale big enough to move comfortably about with his over inflated ego unencumbered. a scene late in the movie has the organizer trying to explain that he has to leave and the run has gone over schedule, that he has prior engagements, yet the lead runner and central character seems to act like a juvenile in exaggerating the whole thing to some kind of horrible betrayal. then very late in the movie he convinces the other two runners that he can't run, only walk and that they should stay behind and rest and catch up to him as he walks. then completely disregarding what he has told them he runs anyways forcing them to play catch up. the whole thing comes off as manipulative, the egotistical actions of some inner psycho drama. this pecker doesn't deserve the hot wife who occasionally pops up in the movie, he seems like on of those preternaturally obsessed characters from the Hostel movies.
when the prima donna isn't engaging in his drama queen antics there's moments of great beauty and informative analysis. one observation notes of a nomadic people on the Niger border for whom freedom of travel is so central to their life that they refer to houses as "tombs of the living". of course that's easy to say for people who have probably never been much of anywhere else in the world but their familiar grounds.
6 out of 10
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