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7915 KM

The title refers to the distance covered in the legendary off-road Dakar Rally, a route noted Austrian documaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter follows once the vehicles have all disappeared.

The title refers to the distance covered in the legendary off-road Dakar Rally, a route noted Austrian documaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter follows once the vehicles have all disappeared. Film’s intent is not to reflect on the race, but rather to create a visual meditation about human migration, in which rich Europeans drive south at great speed for sport and poor Africans travel north by foot and rowboat for a livelihood. Although the images are graced by stunning locations and colors, the format becomes repetitive and dull, as talking heads provide a few insights but much that is just banal. A few fests and Eurotube showings rep the principal markets.

Fans of “Our Daily Bread,” Geyrhalter’s 2005 docu about food production, will likely be disappointed with the new film, which is interview-dominated and far more interesting for its depiction of changing topography, from the deserts of Morocco, U.N.-occupied West Sahara Republic and Mauritania to increasingly verdant Mali and Senegal, than it is for revelations about local attitudes and immigration issues, which largely remain subtext. Except for tire tracks and a videoclip, the pic takes no interest in the famous rally.

7915 KM

Austria

Production: A Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion production. (International sales: Autlook Filmsales, Vienna.) Produced by Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger, Wolfgang Widerhofer. Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Written by Maria Arlamovsky, Geyrhalter, Wolfgang Widerhofer.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Geyrhalter; editor, Widerhofer. French, Arabic, English, Wolof, Assania, Bambara, Soninke dialogue. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Real to Reel), Sept. 6, 2008. Running time: 111 MIN.

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