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:: IMAX: The Mystery of the Nile

‘Mystery Of The Nile’ is one of those films that is a perfect fit for the panoramic glory that is IMAX. If you were to see this documentary on your TV it would probably register as just another Disocvery Channel doco. But on the IMAX, it is transformed into something thrilling.

Pasquale Scaturro, a geophysicist, leads an expedition on a four month journey in the hope of being the first team to traverse the Nile from source to sea. With only a few rafts as their transportation, the journey becomes extremely hair raising as the team have to navigate past man eating crocodiles, deathly rapids, malaria and the odd gun toting bandit. But between the many challenges and set backs, the team learn about the Nile’s historical and spiritual importance to its neighboring countries such as Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Ironically, the film’s most poignant moment arrives on dry land when the team meets the local villagers to learn about their reliance on the river. The scene where Pasquale and his cameraman Gordon Brown, visit the camel markets of Sudan is truly beautiful.

Director Jordi Llompart does a solid job in keeping the visuals large and evocative. But one would have wished that the film wasn’t so tightly edited to conform to the IMAX standard running time of 45 minutes. With the sheer amount of distance and time Pasquale and his team covered, a full feature length film would have been a more accurate representation of what they gone through.