I love personal, quirky, off-beat travel, and Michael Palin, one of the original Monty Pythons, has his own eccentric travel down to an cinematic art. His BBC credentials give him access to odd little corners of the former British Empire, and so he takes us to many remote places across the breath of the Himalayas — one of the most exotic and peculiar regions in the world. I spent many years traveling in the Himalayas myself, yet Palin would turn up in places I had not even heard of. And of the places I did know, he got the spirit of the place just right. It doesn’t hurt that spanning the Himmalays are several of the most interesting countries of the moment, including the essential and complex giants India and China, but also tiny Bhutan and Nepal, as well as hyper Pakistan and forgotten Bangladesh. Palin is very funny, extremely witty, and warmly intelligent about what he sees. He is the ideal travel companion, and in these 6 hours, he’ll introduce you to the incredible diversity of culture hidden in the folds of this greatest range of mountains. I’d follow him anywhere.
Michael Palin: Himalaya
Directed by Roger Mills and John-Paul Davidson
2005, 352 min.
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