Opening August 2, 2018
Directed by: Christian Vogel
Writing credits: Christian Vogel
Principal actors: Documentary with Christian Vogel, Miriam Zimmermann
At age 34 Christian Vogel resigns his job with a German television company, terminates the lease on his apartment, jumps onto his BMW motorcycle and rides 50,000 kilometers through 22 countries in 333 days. First he flies across the Atlantic to Orlando, Florida, USA, where his trip actually begins. He heads north through Canada and Alaska and then over to Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland, and then finally back to Kassel, Germany. Experience with earlier trips through South America, Australia, Asia, etc., probably helped him prepare. Before setting off, he underwent medical examinations, learned how to repair his motorcycle, bought travel health insurance, and packed his credit cards. His budget allowed for 1000 euros a month.
It’s interesting to follow Vogel through these countries, not only for the beautiful scenery, but also to share the friendships that he makes along the way. Sometimes he arranged to meet fellow motorcyclists in motorcycle clubs; most often strangers stepped in at difficult moments—moments of indecision and ignorance. In India he was hit by a youngster on a scooter and he landed in the hospital with broken ribs and hand. Here, his greatest support was from family. His girlfriend Miriam Zimmermann flew to India and got him into one of the three good hospitals recommended by the German embassy. His parents were able to purchase, pack and mail special parts from Germany which were necessary to repair his broken motorcycle. The musical background adds to the impressions, especially a song by musician Brother Dege. We must give much credit to the (mostly invisible) camera with which he filmed 95% of the total 600 hours. The remaining 5% came from people with whom he interacted, usually from their mobile phones. The 121 minutes are too long, but, on the other hand, what could one possibly delete? (Becky T.)