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Old 10 Jul 2007
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
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Crossing Africa (Noel & Marica) - DVD Review

I have just watched the DVD "Crossing Africa" which was kindly sent to me to review by Noel and Marica.

Its a 90 minute long video diary of their 4WD trek of Africa. They covered 60,000km over 30 countries. Going down the West coast to South Africa and returning up the east.

The first few minutes were in black and white making me think my DVD player was on the blink or the region code was wrong but it soon turned into full colour.

Well, the video work is excellent. They really captured some beautiful scenery and really got stuck into African life and culture. Interaction with the people and wildlife of the countries they were in brought many smiles to my face.

They met some great people and showed insight into their jounreys too. The German biker with a surfboard on his bike was fun

The music through the film was really good too, using what I believe were local songs.

The narration was relevant and good humoured but I felt like there should be a little more. At times I was unsure what was going on or where they were. Possibly some route markings on the maps would help.

I would of liked an introduction to the film and Noel and Marica. Some info into their chosen route, reasons for their journey etc. A little about their lifes and inspiration would help me connect more with the journey.

Another thing I wasn't too keen on was "comedy scene" where they replicate a Hyena about to attack Marica near the Toyota. The camera pretends to be the Hyena and then you hear gun shots and a yelp. I thought it was a bit out of distasteful and out of place in a film which really shows the wealth of African wildlife, especially as its obvious that the couple are real wildlife lovers.

There are no chapters on the disc but its still an early edit. Maybe a chapter per country would help ??

All in all a very good film which I would recommend to anyone who wishes to cross Africa or just likes films of beautiful scenery and African life. Its only about 90 mins long but they do a great job of fitting so much into a short amount of time. If this were a professional production (and it is very close to), it would probably be spanned over 6 x 45 min episodes.

7/10 (Worth a tenner)
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