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a fascinating documentary and an inspiring tale of endurance, overcoming adversity, friendship and youthful enthusiasm
In 2005 two young Australian adventurers set out to cross Victoria Island, a largely uninhabited and unexplored area north of Canada, near the Arctic Circle. Their journey forms the basis of this fascinating documentary.
Having recently graduated from university, Clark Carter wanted to have an adventure and "be irresponsible for a while." He and Chris Bray set out on an adventure to traverse this incredible lost world that very few people knew existed. The appeal of this adventure lay in the fact that parts of Victoria Island had never been explored before. Carter and Bray set out to become the first people to walk across Victoria Island, traversing some 1000 kms of intimidating landscapes, tundra and flat, inhospitable terrain. It was to be a boy's road trip, albeit without a road or a car, but the pair were gripped by a sense of enthusiasm and the sense of adventure. They would endure harsh, largely unknown conditions and experience 24 hours of sunlight. Given the season they estimated they would have an eight week window of opportunity to complete their mission.
They set out to build a homemade kayak that would carry their equipment and which they would use to haul their equipment across the unforgiving terrain. But the pair were a little naive, and underestimated just about everything about their trip - how much it cost, how long it would take to prepare. And they certainly underestimated the conditions of Victoria Island. Their progress was much slower and harder than they envisaged, and after a gruelling 51 days the pair finally threw in the towel.
But despite being disappointed and having to admit failure, Victoria Island continued to exert a fascination for the boys, and eventually they decided to give it another try. By 2008 they were much better organised and prepared for the expedition and were aware of what conditions to expect. They carried nearly half a tone of equipment with them this time. On the second adventure they fared much better, eventually overcoming lots of obstacles before completing their epic trek in 128 days. But at times they admitted to a sense of frustration and again came close to admitting defeat.
Carter and Bay captured their epic journeys on camera in this revealing and inspiring film. The Crossing is certainly beautiful to look at as the boys have captured some stunning landscapes and vistas.
Initially the pair never thought of turning their raw footage into a feature film about their adventures. But they had captured some 100 hours of footage, which had to be edited down to the 85 minutes we see on screen. The task of shaping the footage fell to first time director Julian Harvey, a producer and editor on television travel show Getaway, who had previously worked with Carter on the low budget sci-fi thrillers Zero Hour and The Tunnel. Harvey worked with editor Mike Connerty, with whom had had previously worked on TV series Getaway to fashion the material.
The Crossing is a fascinating documentary and an inspiring tale of endurance, overcoming adversity, friendship and youthful enthusiasm.
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