Barefoot to Timbuktu

Thursday, May 23 rd, 2019 at 00:05 am 
Barefoot to Timbuktu
Barefoot to Timbuktu

Barefoot to Timbuktu – Movie Review


A documentary of artist Ernst Aebi, an out-of-the-ordinary Swiss/American swashbuckler. On a trip to the Sahara in 1989, Aebi came across Araouane, a settlement in the middle of the desert, seven days by camel from Timbuktu. The once prosperous oasis was disappearing under encroaching dunes, when Aebi passed through on a caravan. So moved by the destitution, Aebi stayed three years to help the people. Under his guidance, the village awakened to a new life: a productive vegetable garden, a school, and even a small hotel rose from the barren sands.


Barefoot to Timbuktu is a documentary about Ernst Aebi. I did not know who Ernst was, but apparently he is a well-known artist from Switzerland. Yay him. Clearly an interesting man. Clearly very narcissistic. This is a story about how he is wandering around the world, and happens upon this desolate place in the Sahara desert near Timbuktu and decides to make it his own special project. He decides he’s going to make a garden in the desert, which is sort of interesting. We meet his brothers and all his wives and children, none of whom seem all that thrilled with him. Unless you care a lot about him, I don’t know that we really care much about this documentary, because while he is charismatic he is so narcissistic, and so all about himself that there doesn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the room, even when you’re watching him on a DVD. But he is an interesting character, so I’ll give it two stars.