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Michael Palin - Sahara
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Michael Palin: Sahara (Dbl DVD)
Michael Palin's Sahara adventure is one of the great challenges in world travel. In this exhausting journey, Michael will pass through the rock of Gibraltar to Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and beyond. His route will take him across sand-seas, along treacherous rivers, through oases and over mountain ranges. The remote regions are characterized by ceaseless travel, from camel caravans to car rallies, but Michael Palin's love of traveling takes you to places many people will never know.]]>
If the mere sight of Michael Palin striding purposefully towards the camera across some foreign terrain is enough to send you into fits of delight, then Sahara is just for you. Following his three pan-global expeditions, Palin is back on the exploration trail. This time it's traversing the Sahara desert; traveling from Gibraltar through Tangiers and the Arab world down through Africa and some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. The formula that Palin established in Around the World In Eighty Days has hardly been tampered with, but Sahara is proof that there are few better exponents of the travelogue. Palin is an engaging host, far more attractive than the extreme survival merchants, walking the fine line between experienced traveler and slightly eccentric Englishman abroad. The program also strikes a perfect balance between grand visual gestures (the camerawork is simply stunning) and focusing on the individual lives that characterize the region, all underpinned by Palin's unique brand of humor. This is one to return to again and again.
Sahara comes in at a mere four one-hour episodes and the producers were left with a huge amount of unused footage. Thus the DVD features a large selection of deleted scenes. The excellent set of extras also includes a collection of rough video diaries--mainly featuring Palin being pummeled by the elements--and an extensive interview with the presenter. The picture quality is fantastic (particularly compared to Palin's earlier series), as is the digital sound. The whole package is thoroughly recommended. --Phil Udell
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Top customer reviews
Illegal immigrants try to cross from the African continent to Gibraltar and many lives are lost in the attempt. Please watch the special features for additional footage and Mr. Palin's interview on disc 2.
We were greatly pleased to see that Palin chose to go into Algeria, despite the dire warnings about the dangerous conditions (due to the great unrest and genocide occuring at that particular time) because it is truly a beautiful country-land of contrasts! We enjoyed taking a trek through the Ahaggar region (Palin refers to it in English as the Hoggar), hearing that, despite what is said in the press, the Sahroui refugees were not kept in Tindouf against their will and were treated well by the Algerian government, and the mini-stroll through the Casbah in center Alger (Algiers in English) was a delight-if too brief. Oran (pronounced 'Waahran'-say it slowly and do pronunce the 'h'!) has an enviable spot on the beautiful hilly coastline above the even more beautiful Mediterranean. We were delighted to hear the journalist who accompanied Palin in the Casbah say-typically Algerian-'inch'Allah'with reference to a possible future event. We were sorry that Michael did not venture a little south of Alger to visit Algeria's vast array of Roman ruins, and isntead chose Libya for this. Bravo to Michael for showing the rest of the world at least a glimpse of our beloved Algeria. Be cooled by the oasis outside Hassi Messaoud -a breath of fresh air!
The funniest statement of the film was when Palin alluded to the "longest bus ride" he'd ever taken when going accross the falt and palid Libyan desert.
The journey Palin took with the touaregs is spectacular. Myriads of camels, a ton of dunes and sand, and the comraderie of the berbers of the desert. Be sure to look for the baby dorcas gazelle!
From England to Gibralter (where the Barbary baboons hobnob with the gentry) thorugh the vast and breathtaking Sahara (of which Alogeria calims mmore than a lions-or is that camel's?-share, with glimpses of all the countries which share this most wonderful of all deserts. Meet the inahabitants along the way. You will have a wonderful surprise, and perhaps learn that people are people no matter where they call home.
As Palin says, "See what is similar, not what is different" of these people.
Enjoy your journey in this enchanted place!