Search - Exploring the Deserts of the Earth on DVD

Exploring the Deserts of the Earth
Exploring the Deserts of the Earth
Directors: Michael Martin, Elke Wallner
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
NR     2007     5hr 57min

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 Asi...  more »


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Movie Details

Directors: Michael Martin, Elke Wallner
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Travel, Documentary
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/08/2007
Original Release Date: 05/08/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 5hr 57min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Ultimate Road Trip
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 09/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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. Given the geographical nature of the film, the most disconcerting aspect for the U.S. viewer may be the extensive use of kilometers, millimeters and Euros. In the end, Martin and Wallner have documented an epic road trip. The cinematography is phenomenal. Given the rewards and trials of the adventure, Michael Martin and Elke Wallner simultaneously earn a strange mix of both envy and sympathy. "Exploring the Deserts of the Earth" is an essential viewing for desert enthusiasts, off-roaders and earthy adventurers of every persuasion.
Very good overview of world deserts - almost another star
Stephen J. Snyder | Lancaster, Texas United States | 04/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Loved it!
Deut. 6:7 | PA, USA | 07/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Deserts of the Earth
Virginia F. Butz | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had rented this movie and liked it so well, wanted to buy it. Being I ride a motor bike made it all the more interesting, also was able to see a part of Australia we did not get to see when we were there. A must to see, very informative."