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Film
World Traveller Adventures is a collection of 4 short films concerning the adventures of young ravers and DJs determined to bring their message and music to the Third World. The first part, 23 Minute Warning, is a brief history of the techno movement that started in Europe in the 1990s. The second part, Storming Sarajevo, concerns the adventures of Desert Storm, an assemblage of peace-protesters aiming their message at the (then raging) Gulf and Bosnian Wars. Part three, Mission to India, touches on an arduous journey from Western Europe to the middle of India, across hostile lands. The final chapter, Africa Expedisound, is about the mission of 5 converted army lorries, determined to learn from the people, music, and history of Africa.

World Traveller Adventures
23 Minute Warning gets the series off to a rough start. The quick history lesson is over stylized (think early '90s music video), and the interviewees obnoxiously narcissistic and painfully pretentious. The songs cited are lacking in irony, and every heavy-handed lyric is analyzed with an entirely straight face by the writters. People who refer to their artistic creations as historically important kind of bug me. The comparisons made to the ‘60s hippy movements and varios ‘70s and '80s punk movements are, in my opinion, unfounded. This reaction was admittedly personal, as when the techno movement hit The States, I was pretty into my whole self-centered punk rock thing, and old habits die-hard.

Storming Sarajevo takes the series up a notch, and exhibits the mostly selfless goals of the Desert Storm party in an appropriately bright light. Their journey is rather admirable, though mostly due to adverse weather conditions, as the majority of their authoritative run-ins actually go pretty well. The short ends warmly as the Sarajevian people they bring their music to are most appreciative. Most would probably agree that the years of war made them more than worthy of a little free entertainment. The use of techno as celebration music seems more appropriate than its use as protest music.

World Traveller Adventures
Mission to India makes for the best dramatic fodder of the set, as the personalities of its travelers are forefront. Unfortunately, the joy of spectacle is mostly found in the travelers' lack of preparation. The fact that they even make it across the Iranian border is a small miracle, but not because of the great adversity they overcome, as so much of that adversity is self-imposed. The lion's share of their problems spring from their impassive attemps at money saving. It’s hard to feel too sorry for them when their van is impounded because they failed to obtain the correct legal documents out of cheapness. They’re only carrying one legitimate visa among them, for God’s sake! On second thought, this story might make for a better R rated, feel-good comedy, like the American Pie movies, than a serious drama. Whiney, self-righteous kids whom drive through the war-torn Middle East, minus a solid plan, does make for great entertainment.

Whereas Mission to India is the most entertaining from a silly soap opera standpoint, African Expedisound is the most informative, heartwarming, filmic, and ends the set on a high note. Despite a few moments of existential gobbidy-gook and some lame psychedelic camera effects, I really enjoyed it and, for a change, the people it was documenting. The team’s effort to actually learn something from the cultures they were visiting, not to mention the fact that they brought more than just music to the people (not that music isn’t a valid commodity), makes their effort the most commendable. As a movie African Expedisound stands on its own pretty well, offering up enough drama and insight to make the documentation well worth viewing.

World Traveller Adventures

Video


Each film is presented slightly widescreen, the first two cropped at about 1.66:1, the other two at about 1.77:1, none using anamorphic enhancement. Due to the low production budgets, and the fact that they were all mostly filmed on video, none of them look very impressive, and suffer from all the usual ailments the medium can produce. Storming Sarajevo is the most damaged, and has some pretty ugly tracking lines. The ghosting effects and such aren’t really much of an issue, and don’t deter too much from the viewing experience, they just don’t live up to DVD’s full video potential.

Audio


The on-site audio is understandably lacking, but the dialogue is still plenty clear. The music sounds sharp, but only utilizes the limited potential of stereo. Since the films’ music is such an integral part of their success, it would have been nice for some of it to have surround aspects.

Extras


The bonus material is limited to a few trailers for other music releases, and a sort of music video based on the Reclaim the Streets Party. This “party” looked a lot more like a “riot” to me, but I’m not aware of the history behind the event.

World Traveller Adventures

Overall


This collection was not exactly meant for me, but for members of the rave culture. The only film I didn’t like at all was the first, 23 Minute Warning, the others were effective and entertaining in their way. Curious readers should probably check it out, and know that four films (though short) for the price of one is a pretty good deal.

Visit the World Traveller's official website HERE


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