Santa brought my wife a copy of the DVD, “Janapar: love, on a bike” this Christmas. Funny how well he knows what she would like, now she no longer writes him letters.
Janapar was filmed by Tom Allen and tells two stories rolled into one movie. First, there is the tale of his round the world 12000 mile cycle tour; and second, there is the story of his meeting Tenny, an Iranian girl living in Armenia and falling in love with her. The two threads travel together pretty well, but it’s the love story that makes the DVD exceptional.
The film is very cleverly sequenced with inter-cut scenes over a number of months and years and this helps keep the attention of those interested in the cycling on the one hand and the romance on the other. This gives this movie an extra dimension and tension that most travel videos lack.
I’d encourage everyone to buy this DVD and watch it so I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say that my wife and I came away well pleased that we had watched it. For me the film came alive each time the charming and very photogenic Tenny was in the scenes, but the travelogue scenes were also well filmed and often very evocative. The African scenes especially brought the adventure to life – and convinced me that this is one adventure I will leave to others! I am passed the point when I can afford to contemplate spending a couple of years chained to some pirate’s radiator or recovering on the road from a bout of malaria.
The film is at it’s best when we are worried about the future of a charming young couple who met and fell in love, but who had to wrestle with Tom’s dream of traveling around the world on his bicycle. It’s available on DVD and its also on release, and for special screenings. (See these details.)
Highly recommended with 5 stars.
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