THE MAN WHO CROSSED THE SAHARA (Korbett Matthews, Canada). Some subtitles. 53 minutes. Tuesday (April 22), 7pm, Cumberland; Thursday (April 25), 1:30 pm, Innis Town Hall. Rating: NNNN
Frank Cole made the Guinness Book of World Records for his solo crossing of the Sahara in 1989-90; what’s not mentioned in the notation is that he made that trip in order to shoot a film called Life Without Death, a metaphysical exploration of his fascination with his own mortality.
After working on the footage for a decade, he set out on a second crossing in 2000 – and was murdered in Mali by unknown assailants. Using snippets of Cole’s film projects and interviews with various family, associates and authorities, director Korbett Matthews has produced an austere, detached exploration of his subject’s legacy.
It’s not exactly a crowd-pleaser, but then neither was Cole.