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Exploring the Deserts of the Earth


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Product Details

  • Directors: Michael Martin, Elke Wallner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 357 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NDFHWA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Two ambitious filmmakers document their travels on film as they attempt to cross all of the world’s deserts on a motorbike in only 900 days. After starting off in Munich, they head first to the Arabian deserts, then to Asia, Australia and over South and North America and finally to Africa, documenting not only their adventures and experiences but each country’s unique culture along the way.

Countries visited include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Bolivia, Botswana, Chad, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Jordan, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Namibia, Niger, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Tibet, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Episode Guide:
1: Bedouins, Seas of Sand and Treasures from a 1,001 Nights
2: Deserts of Salt – Craters of Fire – Wild Camels
3: The Ancient Buried Cities and Holy Lakes of Alashan
4: 100,000 Camels and 3,000 Rats
5: The Cold, The Dust and The Mines
6: The Red Heart of Australia
7: Salt Lakes – Volcanoes - Geysers
8: Llamas, Seals and Buried Cultures
9: 'Highway to Heaven'
10: An African Adventure: Nomads and a Bubbling Volcano
11: The Sahara – Queen of Deserts
12: Of Rebels, Crocodiles and Smugglers

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Delite Rancher VINE VOICE on September 9, 2007
In "Exploring the Deserts of the Earth," the film makers make it their goal to visit all of the world's deserts. Michael Martin and Elke Wallner achieve this objective by riding on the back of a motorcycle on the dusty roads of five continents. The film works as a theatrical travel log of the significant stops along the way. On their journey, the two Germans spend time with Bedouins, Aussie cattle ranchers and Navajo horse breeders. While Martin and Wallner spend the vast majority of their time on back country roads, there are some urban detours to places such as Las Vegas and Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel. Most of the DVD is spent in Asia and Africa, with a significant side trip to Tibet. The footage of the Sahara and the Alashan are especially breathtaking. In the States, the travelers spend their time in the most obvious national parks like Death Valley, Canyonlands and Arches. Aside from Michael Martin's eerie resemblance to Howard Stern, there are some potential drawbacks. First, the film makers are not biologists, geologists or anthropologists. Thus there are no remarkable observations about flora, fauna, geology or people. As a result, the film feels a bit like a vacation that just anybody could have taken with enough money and time. Second, the film lacks depth. As with the Buddhism festival at Mount Kailash, there are exceptions to this limitation. Being broad rather than deep is easily forgivable when considering the project's enormous scope. The viewer needs to remember that while each chapter runs about thirty minutes, the entire running length is close to six hours. Third, the narration is not in American English. This is usually a very minor element as when pool is referred to as billiards and eggplants are called aubergines.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Snyder on April 3, 2008
Picture having the endurance and courage to travel the world's deserts on a motorcycle. Then throw in interesting tidbits, such as crossing the China-Pakistan border on Sept. 11, 2001. Add in professional-quality filming, and a sampling of local customs and traditions, and you have a very good DVD set, especially for the price.

In other words, this is a very good set, but it didn't quite hit the top.

No, the couple are not professional geologists, biologists, sociologists or cultural anthropologists. So, you won't get in-depth explanations of geological formations, flora and fauna or Buddhist rituals or other things. This is a travelogue as much as anything.

But, it's a good one, again especially for the price.

Other than the caveats above, I have a couple of others.

First, on their North American deserts section, they have a few minor anthropoligical and geographic errors in the part taking about the Navajos. (I grew up out there, that's how I know.)

Second, it looks like this was originally produced for German TV or something. Each segment, about a separate desert, has its own brief opening and credit-lines conclusion. Plus, most segments start the segment itself with a brief transition from the previous segment.

All this is unnecessary for a stand-alone DVD set vs. a TV show and should have been edited out. Between that and a bit of of other judicious editing, this could have either been knocked down to 5 hours, or else run at 6 hours with more depth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shelly721 on July 16, 2009
My family and I found this to be a great DVD set. Many times my husband and I just looked at each other in amazement at some of the things captured here. It was an awesome compliment to our recent home school study of World History and Cultures. In their travels the filmmakers have visited with many different people groups and have shown how they live. They have shown different religious practices without any bias or prejudice.
I was expecting it to be a scientific presentation of the world's deserts, but found it to be more culturally oriented. It was a pleasant surprise.
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